Can You Control the Costs of Your Healthcare?
Face it: something’s going to happen to you during the course of your lifetime that’s going to require you to seek some form of medical treatment. The human body, for all of its amazing complexities, is subject to wear-and-tear. Such abuse often falls beyond the scope of the natural healing process. Yet the inordinate cost of healthcare is often precisely what keeps people from seeking it when it’s needed.
Yet you do have some measure of control over what kinds of healthcare costs you’ll be required to pay. As you know, it costs a lot more to be seen in an emergency room than it does to be treated in a doctor’s office or clinic. Yet surprisingly, many of the more common problem treated in America’s ERs are for issues that can also be addressed in a clinic. While the treatment that you receive will be the same, the bills for such treatment can be very different. Before we jump into some tips on why the emergency room should be avoided, take a glance through this infographic comparing the two services:
Tips to Avoiding the Emergency Room
The most common reasons given by patients who could have been treated in a clinic but choose to instead go to the ER is that they needed treatment at odd hours when clinicians weren’t available to be seen in their offices. Yet that excuse disregards those patients’ own role in their healthcare. By following just a few simple practices, you’ll find that avoiding unnecessary trips to the ER isn’t all that difficult:
Don’t wait for symptoms to worsen: Too many people feel that they have to be near death in order for a doctor to take their compliant seriously. Yet the truth is that you know your body better than anyone. If you know you’ll eventually need treatment, go to the doctor now. This way, you’re not left in agony in the middle of the night, with your only choice being a trip to the ER.
Have a primary care physician: While clinicians can’t diagnose you over the phone, your primary care doctor is at least aware of your medical history and your current overall state of health. He or she will also typically allow you to reach out to him or her after office hours. His or her personal knowledge of you can allow him or her to make a good assessment of your need for treatment over the phone.
Live a healthy lifestyle: The easiest way to avoid needing to be seen in an ER is to avoid the habits and practices that may land you in one. By being healthy, you not avoid trips to the emergency room, but you lower the costs associated with your healthcare altogether.
Just because you can’t control the fact that you will require medical treatment at some point doesn’t mean that you can’t influence the type of care that you receive. By being mindful of your body and exactly how it responded to injuries and illnesses, coupled with living a healthy lifestyle, you can help ensure that your typical medical care rarely rises beyond of the occasional clinic visit.


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