Understanding Health Care Protocols

When I adopted a pair of twins, one of the first things that struck me was how many doctor's appointments they needed to go to. As we took them to all of their baby well-checks, I realised that these appointments were designed to find and address issues early before they caused other problems. Fortunately, our family paediatrician found a few critical problems that we were able to resolve head-on, and it was immensely helpful. Check out this blog for information about health care, preventative care, and helping your child to enjoy a better life. I know that some of these tips helped me, and I know that they can help you too.

How To Navigate Medical Care When You Have No Health Insurance Coverage

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The Affordable Care Act and extended Medicaid coverage was supposed to reduce the number of uninsured, but there are many reasons why some people continue to have no health care insurance coverage, even after the Affordable Care Act was passed. Regardless of reason, 27.6 million people remained uninsured in 2016. For the uninsured people, it is crucial to understand how to navigate medical care when you have no insurance. Here's what the uninsured need to know. 

Cost Comparison

Most hospitals emergency rooms will not turn the uninsured away. However, this doesn't mean that they won't be billed. The bills from emergency rooms are notorious for being a lot higher than bills from urgent care or walk-in clinics. For example, according to Debt.org, the costs to diagnose and treat a urinary tract infection in an emergency room is $665 but in an urgent care it is $112. Substantial difference, right? 

It's also important to be aware that some urgent care and walk-in clinics offer reduced rates to those who self-pay and pay in cash. And paying cash up front means no bills coming in the mail. Unpaid medical bills account for $1,766 debt for the average person. Unpaid bills can result in lower credit scores, making it more difficult for the person to obtain credit and the credit they are able to get is typically a very high interest rate, which makes it more difficult to pay their bills. It's a vicious cycle that can be avoided by staying away from emergency rooms other than for life-or-death medical emergencies. 

Patient Summary 

Another issue that some people with no medical insurance have is that they are likely to not have a primary care physician. Without a primary care physician and medical record keeping of office staff, it can be difficult to get continuing of care, which is particularly important when the patient has a medical condition and/or prescription medication. For people who have no primary care physician, keeping their records for each medical visit is crucial. 

After each visit, regardless of type of medical facility, request a print-out of a summary of your visit. Most offices call this the patient summary. Place each patient summary into a folder in chronological order and carry this folder with you to each subsequent appointment. This will allow you to have a list of previous medical tests, prescriptions, diagnoses, & treatment plans to essentially replace office-kept medical records.  Contact a clinic, like Alaska Urgent Care LLC, for more help.

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6 May 2018