The Costs vs. Charges of Health Care, Part 2
Check out this list of charges for a doctor’s office visit from the Dartmouth-Hitchcock hospital system in the Northeast:
I can say from experience, that most office visits are for routine, uncomplicated problems and are charged at the Moderate-Level Visit. Low-Level and Low-to-Moderate Level visits are rarely billed.
So to see a doctor for a routine visit in this healthcare system, new patients are charged $283, established patients are charged $165, and patients referred from another physician for a “consultation” can expect to pay $458.
But how much does it actually cost to actually visit with a doctor for 12 minutes?
Again, I can say from my own personal experience, it costs me nothing to see a patient. Except my time.
That’s not to say that I don’t have overhead expenses – like rent, insurance, staffing and equipment to name a few, but those are the costs to operate my clinic.
Not for me to sit down and talk with a patient.
In fact, when I see a patient and they pay me (since I don’t accept their health insurance), we could say that I’m actually profiting by seeing them. Or at least I’m offsetting the operating expenses I just described.
Which , considering that over half of the above charges come from a “facility fee” that is actually more than the professional charge (how much you pay the doctor).
Unlike hospital- and corporation-owned medical practices, at my clinic I don’t charge a facility fee. My charge for a routine visit is $99, which has my facility overhead built in.
Next up, we’ll consider some charges for popular procedures.
It’s not the COSTS of health care that are outrageous…it’s the CHARGES.