One woman's path through doula training, childrearing, and a computer science Ph. D. program

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The hideously expensive visit to a nurse practitioner

For our nine-month checkup, we went to a women's clinic nearby because we don't want to be slammed with the $800 immunization bill. I figured, you know, a clinic would be cheaper. Nope!

I got the statement from insurance today: the office visit alone, to see a nurse practitioner, was $237.00 as charged to my insurance.

Seeing the family practice doctor (MD) in the medical foundation was much cheaper: only $161.00.

The women's clinic we went to specializes in caring for low-income, un-insured, and under-insured women and their small children. As such, it has tons of patients lining up in the tiny waiting room, coughing on one-another. Our wait time was just over an hour from the time our appointment was scheduled. But hey, it's a small price to pay for what I thought would be cheaper service!

Why is it that in every other industry, you know up front how much you will pay, but in the medical field it is all up in the air? You never go to a pizza place and order a pizza without knowing how much it will cost, or even get your car serviced without a written estimate. Why are doctor's visits so different?

We are coming back for immunizations next week (we had to wait for the paperwork to transfer to the clinic from the doctor's office). We shall see if they are as expensive as at the medical foundation! Wish us luck.

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