Ready for Patients Who Shop Around?
Once upon a time, your patient went to his primary care physician and if medical imaging services were ordered, he went wherever the doctor’s office told him to go. Sometimes that meant driving extra miles or taking an appointment at inconvenient hours, all because that is what the doctor told him to do and the doctor knew best. That was then, this is now: Welcome to websites and other technology that are helping your patient drive his own care – and perhaps even drive him away from you. The technology, however, is just a tool. The root cause of the increase in medical imaging consumerism is an increase in the number of people who are paying more out of pocket for care. Consider:
- Average employee contributions to company-provided health insurance has increased more than 120 percent since 2000. (Kaiser.org, 2009)
- Of the approximately 12 million Americans still unemployed, only about 9 percent are receiving health care coverage under COBRA. The rest are doing without insurance. (Families USA, 2009)
- The average out-of-pocket costs for deductibles, co-payments for medications, and co-insurance for physician and hospital visits has risen 115 percent since 2000. (Kaiser.org, 2009)