Insurance plans often come with a variety of incomprehensible initials, rules, fee schedules, and red tape. HMO versus PPO, fully- or self-insured, employer-funded or health savings account…it’s like learning a new language. Add that to doctor-speak medical jargon and facing an injury or surgery is doubly daunting.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. More and more providers, clinics, and outpatient surgery centers are dedicating themselves to up-front transparency pricing. That way all fees are delineated beforehand and costs are kept low. Longview’s Pacific Surgical Center (PSC) can meet all your general surgery, urology, orthopedic, podiatry, and gastroenterology needs whether you choose to pay cash or bill the insurance company.
PSC’s Transparency Pricing Marketing Coordinator Melodie Wilson has worked with them for more than 10 years. She serves as advocate and intermediary, teaching employers, insurance brokers, and staff about their cash pay program. Thanks to fixed, clearly posted pricing, it’s often cheaper for individuals to pay for services up-front, rather than through their insurance.
“Pacific Surgical Center is always willing to have an open dialogue and answer questions regarding which would be the better option; paying transparent cash bundled pricing or utilizing their insurance. We have had several patients pay the bundled transparency cash price for surgery instead of running it through their insurance due to large deductibles or no insurance,” explains Wilson.
Knees, shoulders, and carpal tunnel syndrome top PSC’s surgery statistics. When your visit is scheduled, financial advisors provide a billing quote that’s good for 60 days. Pricing includes the facility fee, surgeon’s fee, and anesthesiologist’s fee and won’t increase even if additional implants are needed during surgery.
Wilson breaks down the costs of paying cash versus insurance.
Knee arthroscopy is defined by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons as “a surgical procedure that allows doctors to view the knee joint without making a large incision (cut) through the skin and other soft tissues…During knee arthroscopy, your surgeon inserts a small camera, called an arthroscope, into your knee joint. The camera displays pictures on a video monitor, and your surgeon uses these images to guide miniature surgical instruments.”
At PSC the cash price for consultation, facility, doctor, and anesthesia is $3950. In a traditional hospital setting, the same would cost approximately $24,000. “If your deductible is $5000 you will pay over $5000 for this surgery before your deductible is met,” says Wilson. “Once the deductible is met, you will then be responsible for the co-insurance portion of the surgery. This typically ranges from 10 to 30% for the patient responsibility.”
Currently, Wilson is “working with brokers to establish contracts with self-funded employer groups.” In these, employers open a dedicated bank account for medical needs and all claims are paid from that community pot. By utilizing centers like PSC, combined monies go further so rates don’t need to increase. “That’s is a huge savings,” acknowledges Wilson.
The 44 million American Medicare recipients, 1.3 million eligible in Washington alone, also benefit tremendously from transparency and cash pricing. Recent reports show that though federal steps are in process “to rewrite rules on federal payments to hospitals treating older Americans on Medicare, making it easier for patients to see the prices of procedures and care…posting prices, while useful, is not as significant as insurance companies helping patients understand what portion of a hospital’s charges they would need to pay themselves.”
This is never an issue at PSC where skilled advisors and financial counselors are always on hand to walk you through the entire process. They will speak with your current physician about any medical needs, explain all costs, and even bill your insurance plan should you choose to do so.
If you have questions about transparency pricing, Wilson encourages you to call 360-442-7913. “Anyone, any time, it’s free and we’re here to help.” Then read more about PSC’s physicians and book a consultation or request a specialist online or by calling 360-442-7900.
Health issues are stressful and sometimes the cure is as worrying as the ailment. Don’t let confusion or financial uncertainty make you put off much-needed treatment. Take a few minutes to speak with a counselor at Pacific Surgical Center about the ways they can get you back on your feet again, moving and feeling even better than ever.
With lab work, testing, surgery, and follow-up visits all in one place, highly trained doctors, speedy turnaround and recovery times, and a staff ready to answer questions and untangle billing red tape, PSC keeps stress levels low and success high.