More Americans have medical insurance than ever before. With increased coverage, it can seem counterintuitive to NOT use it for an upcoming outpatient surgical procedure. But as with any major purchase, shopping around can save you money.
Medical billing is both complicated and confusing. A simple operation can involve fees for the physician, nurses, anesthesiologist, operating room, medication, recovery room, pre- and post-operative lab testing, and devices like implanted plates and screws or casts, crutches, and slings.
Melodie Wilson, Transparency Pricing Marketing Coordinator at Longview’s Pacific Surgical Center, illustrates how their up-front pricing simplifies the process. At PSC, costs are clearly posted and include all charges for the facility, physician, and anesthesiologist.
“Some patients have very high deductible plans and it makes more sense to pay for the entire surgery with cash versus billing the insurance. An example of this would be if a patient required a Knee Arthroscopy surgery. Here is what that will look like: At Pacific Surgical Center the total cash cost is $3950. A hospital will charge you approximately as follows:
- Facility fee – $20,000
- Physician Fee – $3,000
- Anesthesia Fee – $800
- Consultation Fee – $200
That’s approximately $24,000. If your deductible is $5,000 you will pay over $5,000 for this surgery before your deductible is met. Once the deductible is met, you will then be responsible for the co-insurance portion of the surgery which typically ranges from 10 to 30% for the patient responsibility.”
Recently a Vancouver firefighter told Wilson he was quoted $69,000 for a knee replacement surgery that would cost only $27,000 at Pacific Surgical Center.
PSC specializes in outpatient general surgery, podiatry, gastroenterology, urology, and orthopedic treatment. Their physicians use cutting-edge, minimally invasive techniques that minimize recovery time. And thanks to a commitment to transparency pricing, there’s no sticker shock down the road.
“If a patient already knows they need surgery, they may contact us at 360-442-7913 and obtain a free quote that will be good for 60 days from the date of the quote. Once we schedule a consultation, we will ask the patient for $200. If the surgery is scheduled then we will ask for the remainder of the balance of the bundled transparency pricing at time of scheduling,” explains Wilson.
“The cash prices are currently fixed and are available on our website and once we provide the quote, we will honor the quote no matter if there are additional implants that are required during surgery.”
Though PSC accepts many local and national insurance plans, free financial counseling is available to all patients. Experienced counselors will readily walk you through expected costs, billing options, and patient responsibility, plus staff bills the insurance company for you, should you choose to do so.
When you’re ready to proceed, read more about the skilled PSC physicians and go online to schedule an appointment or request a specialist. You can indicate the best day and time for your consultation and staff will follow-up with availability.
And your initial visit won’t feel like starting over because “at PSC, we will work with your physician in order to provide you with the best possible care. We take pride in cultivating great relationships with referring doctors, starting with making the referral process easy by always being accessible and responsive to consult with your physician.”
The Healthcare Financial Management Association is a firm believer in transparency pricing. “As patients face increased exposure to healthcare costs, they have an urgent need for meaningful and transparent price information. Patients are being asked to act as consumers in a marketplace in which price—a fundamental driver of consumer behavior—is often unknown until after the service they purchase has been performed.
The U.S. healthcare marketplace is complex…But when patients seek price information and it is not available, the lack of transparency becomes the subject of public criticism and possible legislative action. The lack of price transparency in healthcare threatens to erode public trust in our healthcare system, but this erosion can be stopped. The time for price transparency in healthcare is now.”
Contact PSC by calling 360-442-7900 or visit the Center at 625 9th Ave, Suite 110, in Longview. Find articles, postings, and staff bios on their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.
Being told you need surgery isn’t fun. But having a reliable ally like Pacific Surgical Center greatly reduces the time, cost, paperwork, and stress inevitably involved. Knowledge is power, but thanks to a little shopping around it can also save you cash as well.