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Medical Costs Gone Amuck!

I read with astonishment the March 4, 2013 issue of Time magazine’s Special Report.  In his special report, “Why medical bills are killing us,” Steven Brill eloquently and accurately illustrated the situation using real world examples.  If you haven’t read this special report, take the time— it’s worth it.  The “broken” healthcare system is very complicated with powerful key players such as hospital CEOs, physicians, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, U.S. Government, malpractice attorneys, etc. all clamoring to be heard.

At Family Allergy & Asthma Care of Montana (FAACM), our promise to you is to provide the finest comprehensive and state-of-the-art personalized medical care for those suffering from asthma and allergic disorders including allergic rhinitis (hay fever), hives, anaphylaxis, food/medication/latex allergies, stinging insect allergies, atopic dermatitis (allergic eczema), contact dermatitis and recurrent infections.

My goal for my patients is, I want you to:

  • Stay out of the hospital, emergency department, and urgent care— this is the most expensive care!  In 2010, the average charge in Montana for an emergency visit for asthma was $900; the average charge for a hospital stay for asthma was just over $8,000.
  • Stay off prednisone; this has significant adverse side effects when used in high doses for long periods of time.
  • Stay at school (or work); be a productive member of society!
  • Sleep at night; we all know what sleep deprivation makes you feel like!
  • Stay active/exercise/play; feel young, act young, be young.
  • Have the best lung function; take care of your lungs; you only have 2 of them!

And I want to achieve this all on the least amount of medications necessary.  Medications are expensive, and no one likes to take more than they really need.  The risk to benefit ratio is key to deciding which medications for which individuals for how long.

At FAACM, you will be treated with respect and only undergo necessary tests that will assist in the diagnosis or treatment of your condition.

At FAACM, we are doing our part to bring down the cost of medical care.   As an out-of-network provider, we offer new patient consultations for $90 and a follow up visit is only $70.

In the Time magazine article, outrageous fees were charged for simple items used in hospital care. Take the time to compare services and fees— check around and ask for the fee schedule from your other healthcare providers, laboratories, urgent cares, emergency departments and hospitals.  They may not be able to tell you as it may depend upon how much time your visit requires.  There are different levels of service (based on complexity of decision making), and different billing codes for each.   At FAACM, the fee will not fluctuate based on your level of service.  Each person will receive what THEY NEED and not less!  Another benefit at FAACM is a person can still submit their paid fees to their health insurance company for personal reimbursement.

At Family Allergy & Asthma Care of Montana, “Let us take care of you!” is more than a slogan.  It’s our commitment to affordable and excellent healthcare.  Higher costs do not equate to safer, better care.  Critical thinking, attention to detail, paying attention to what the patient tells you….that’s what results in better and safer care.

 

 

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