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06 Apr

Changes in Health Care

Changes in Health Care

As a kid, the entire family went to the same doctor, whose practice was in a very small medical building. The receptionist was the same woman, and he had one nurse. When my father was having a heart attack, on a weekend, my mom was able to reach the doctor.  We didn’t have health insurance, and his office would work out a payment plan.

As I grew older, things began to change.  The family doctors joined large medical groups.  If you didn’t have insurance they would charge extravagant prices, which aren’t charged to an insurance company. I over heard a receptionist tell an uninsured person that an office visit was $1000.00.  I’ve never seen a $1000.00 charge to my insurance company on my statements.

When I go to my general practitioner now, I know there is a good chance that the nurse that takes my pulse and blood pressure won’t be the same nurse the next time I visit the doctor’s office.  I know people without insurance, who have used the emergency room as a doctor’s office.

We often think about the hospital, and assisted living facilities expanding as this country ages, but so have the walk in clinics.  Walgreen and CVS have grown from just being pharmacies, to walk in clinics that can help people control diabetes and high cholesterol. The large medical clinic I use, also has an after hours clinic.  One of our local hospitals runs walk-in clinics.  This trend isn’t expected to go away.

The Affordable Care Act has added fuel to this growth.  These clinics aren’t just cheaper than going to an emergency room, but they will take insurance.  Now they will find more customers with insurance cards, since the clinics offer the convenience of being open when a traditional doctor’s office is closed.

Mickey Lovingood is a Business Development Coordinator on our Healthcare Business Development Team. She has more than 15 years’ experience in customer relations and sales.

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