Speaking as a physician, the most uncomfortable question we have to address is “How much is this going to cost me?” I would love to just discuss the best treatment options and say 100% is covered by insurance with no co-pays or out of pocket, but that’s not the world we live in.
Here is an example. According to http://www.costhelperhealth.com, the average knee replacement procedure in an outpatient setting costs between $29,000-$34,000. $4,350 is the average out of pocket for this procedure. While many insurance plans have a $1,000 surgical deductible, 20% co-pay and a $3,000 maximum out of pocket-who know what the future holds with insurance.
That being said, some procedures offer better options than surgery with accelerated recovery and positive outcomes, but are not covered by insurance. Why is that? Another mystery. The bottom line is when making a treatment decision consider all the following:
Is this a less invasive, but effective option for my condition?
Do I want to continue a less expensive, maintenance therapy or a curative alternative?
What is the real cost to continue a maintenance routine of office visits, injections and physical therapy?
Is the cost of surgery plus recovery time better than a more conservative treatment?
(Sometimes surgery is the best path)
I get it, no one likes to pay for healthcare, but the conversation about “best care” needs to extend beyond money. We take time with each patient to discuss all options and continue to research new and better treatments for you.