NEW YORK Money magazine’s Amanda Gengler told “The Early Show Saturday Edition” viewers that one way to cut their healthcare costs was to utilize retail clinics for basic care.
Gengler addressed the fact that healthcare costs are continuing to climb. But there are ways to ease the financial burden, she told viewers.
While Gengler suggested that patients should negotiate with their doctors regarding cost of services, to enroll in a flexible spending account or a mail order program for prescriptions, she pointed out that such medical conditions as pink eye or an ear infection can be treated at more affordable outlets.
“Today there are some more convenient and often cheaper alternatives to the doctor's office, or the emergency room,” Gengler told viewers. “First, workplace clinics are making a comeback. They're usually staffed with nurse practitioners and you can swing by at lunch and get care. Maybe a strep test or a flu shot. Another option for basic problems are retail clinics, which are popping up in chain stores and pharmacies. Prices are posted on the walls, usually about $50 to $75, and most now accept insurance. You don't need an appointment, you can simply walk in. Finally, there are urgent clinics. They're a step above retail clincs, but a step down from ERs. You can see a doctor, and they're great for accidents such as a deep cut that requires stitches. But if you're experiencing something more serious, like shortness of breath, or you're not sure what is wrong, drive straight to the ER.”