Free Market Reduces Health Care Cost

10Jul09

The company I just founded in it’s first week of operation saved a Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC almost $2000.  It saved the patient from spending several hours in the Emergency Room.

There was a patient that was traveling in the NYC area who had injured himself and suspected that he had a fracture. He had contemplated going to the ER for an evaluation because over time he was less able to bear weight.  Instead he was referred to MetroMedicalDirect.com.

As a Nurse Practitioner I spoke to this prospective patient over the telephone and arranged to see him in his temporary residence the next morning, I also arranged for an x-ray to be done as well. I prescribed him some pain medication, provided standard instructions regarding this type of injury.  The cost of my visit was $250, the x-ray may cost him $150 including a digital copy.  Pain medication will cost him $20 for a 1 week supply.

Had this patient gone to a local ER the Visit would have started at $600, the X-ray would have cost almost $200, then he would have been charged by a radiologist a separate reading fee of almost $300.  The pain medicine in the ER would have cost him almost $10 per pill, the crutches almost $150.  The patient would have spent at least 6-9 hours going through the process and have been exposed to countless germs.

In addition to the evaluation of the injured extremity the patient also got a comprehensive physical exam since he had not had one in over 5 years. We discussed smoking cessation as I discovered he was a smoker when I approached his residence.  He was also in the high risk group for testicular cancer so I also reviewed with him and demonstrated how he should perform a monthly exam.

As a result of now being an established patient of Metro Medical Direct he now has a trusted source of health information that he can be in touch with even when he returns to his native location.

This is just one example of how the free market can increase quality of care and bring down the cost of care. There are many prospective innovative health care delivery models waiting to be developed if only the incentives were properly aligned in the current health care system

Raymond Zakhari, NP

MetroMedicalDirect.com



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