Patients are trying everything they can to reduce the cost of medical care, including cutting coupons, in the U.S. Healthcare is notoriously expensive. Find out what you need to know about online coupons.
It has been several years since coupons have been used for medical services, but patients can still be taken advantage of by predatory scams and receive medically unnecessary treatment.
The only way some patients can afford health care is through coupons, including those without health insurance. Using coupons can also help providers attract new patients and promote their practices.
Several online healthcare coupon companies offer vouchers and discounts to patients in need of care. Health care in the U.S. has become wildly expensive, as demonstrated by the idea of using coupons. Check out this growing trend and how patients are using coupons to reduce medical expenses.
The use of healthcare coupons by patients
Online voucher programs including Groupon, MDsave, WellRX, and others offer coupons for various medical services. Coupons can be used for MRIs, back surgeries, and dental cleanings, among other medical services. Deals are usually priced by coupon companies based on the competition in the area.
Additionally, they take a huge cut of the earnings, sometimes up to half. All the extra marketing benefits care providers despite the massive pay reduction. Patients may find coupons and listings for practices and care providers they aren’t familiar with.
There are some coupons that can dramatically reduce the cost of care. Since 2009, the Perimeter Center at Virtual Imaging Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia has been offering coupons for CT scans, along with consultation services, reducing the total price to just $26, a 96% saving.
To stay competitive in their region, some care providers issue coupons on their websites. A provider may decide to use coupons for care to avoid losing access to patients if a major competitor is doing so. Payments are better than none for many providers who receive less than their normal rates.
Medical Coupons and Their Downfalls
It is unfortunate that some healthcare coupons may cause more harm than good. These discounts will likely benefit a lot of patients, including those without insurance and those with low incomes. However, they can also steer them towards unnecessary medical care. For instance, a patient with back pain might see a coupon for back surgery, but the surgery must be approved by their care provider before being performed. Patients should be helped to choose the right treatment option by providers, not by coupon companies.
Coupon users may end up paying a second time for medical services in other situations. An individual may be able to get a CT scan for less than they would pay at a hospital if they see a coupon listing for a local provider’s office. It may however be necessary for the patient to visit a local hospital for treatment after their CT scan results indicate that they require surgery. Even so, there’s a good chance the hospital will conduct another CT scan before performing the operation, so the patient may end up paying twice.
It is also possible for patients to fall victim to online schemes and fraudulent voucher programs.