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Urology

How Much is a Urologist Visit without Insurance

Dr. Joe Pazona

If you’re wondering about self-pay rates for a urologist visit, then you’re probably not happy with insurance companies. I don’t blame you at all. They are part of the reason I founded VirtuCare.

Each year they raise your premiums and deductibles, so you’re essentially paying a lot of cash for healthcare anyway. All for the privilege of someone else deciding who you can see for your healthcare.

Doctors are frustrated as well. Each year insurance companies decrease our reimbursement, keeping a little more for themselves and their stockholders. This is in addition to refusing to pay for services we’ve already provided.

Imagine you’re a plumber. You’re called to fix a leaky pipe. You do a great job. The client is happy. But then some 3rd party, who’s responsible for paying you, refuses because you didn’t ask them “permission” (we call these prior authorizations) to render such services! What a mess.

Don’t get me started on the countless hours that our staff members wait on the phone to speak with a human being at these insurance companies. If you’ve ever wondered why you can’t reach anyone at the doctor’s office, it is because all of the staff are on the phone with insurance companies.

Shouldn’t healthcare be primarily about the doctor and the patient? What if patients could see a urologist without insurance? Well you can.

At VirtuCare we’re breaking down all the obstacles to expert medical care. Insurance companies, travel, and long wait times to name a few.

Let’s focus our discussion for the moment on cost. You work hard for your money (or maybe you just shake your tushy on Instagram and are loaded), so allow us to guide you through the costs of seeing a urologist without insurance.

How much is an initial visit to a urologist without insurance?

Almost all urologists are happy to see patients outside of insurance companies. Although I recently came across an academic practice that “doesn’t accept cash patients” (Ummm  . . . OK). The main issue is cost transparency. How much are you going to pay?

Very few medical practices post their in-person initial visit rates on-line. One individual practice last updated their cash pay prices in 2009! I’m not certain their office is in business to say the least.

Probably the best data is from healthcare brokerage sites like MD Save. They have a transparent marketplace that posts the cost of seeing a urologist without insurance.

A search on MD Save shows the average cost for an initial urologist consultation is $140 – $353 across 8 states.

Having practiced for 10+ years across the country, I think this range is pretty representative of cash rates to see a urologist. Are these numbers too high? Too low? Well it depends on where you live and who you ask.

I can’t ask an attorney a question without being charged a couple hundred bucks. My actual plumber makes more money per hour than I do as a “plumber” treating prostate blockages. Plus he doesn’t have to do prostate exams.

Certainly the cost to run a medical practice is higher in Nashville, TN than it is in rural Alabama. You also have to consider the reimbursement rates from insurance contracts (>90% of healthcare is still beholden to this terrible system). If insurance companies aren’t paying the doctor squat, unfortunately they have to make it up somewhere.

Regardless, medical care is expensive. That’s why a urologist telemedicine visit without insurance through VirtuCare is $89. A nice savings over your other options. Don’t even ask about insurance, because we don’t take it. We are building a direct pay system between you and your doctor.

 

How much is a follow-up visit to a urologist without insurance?

The cost of a follow-up visit without insurance is even more difficult to know for certain. Test, procedures, and follow up visits can alter pricing significantly. The best data is again on MD Save. Their published “established patient” rates for 7 different offices ranges from $94 – $232.

With VirtuCare you can have as many visits as you like for  . . . $89. We also offer an annual partnership option for $99 which provides:

  • Discounted follow-up visits ($59)
  • Ability to see the same doctor for continuity of care.
  • Messaging capabilities with your doctor for direct access.

 

Access to expert care, on an on-going basis. Now we’re making some progress!

How much is a urologist surgery without insurance?

Here’s where things start launching into the next stratosphere. As surgeons, urologists perform invasive procedures. This ranges from a no-needle, no-scalpel vasectomy to a complete removal of your bladder with reconstruction.

Some of these procedures require very expensive toys. Lasers, scopes and robots cost hospitals tens of thousands to millions of dollars. This doesn’t include the cost of disposable components. Keep this in mind as you see the prices below.

As you can imagine, the cost of these procedures can vary greatly. In addition to the type of procedure, you have to consider WHERE the procedure is being performed. Anything beyond local anesthesia (with the exception of “laughing gas” in the office) is going to cost in the thousands of dollars. Surgery centers and hospitals are EXPENSIVE.

Now let’s look at some numbers. Here are some published rates for various procedures and locations (some costs are approximated):

  • Office cystoscopy (MD Save) $277 – $522
  • Office vasectomy (MD Save) $532 – $748
  • Surgery center cystoscopy (various sources) $2500 – $4000
  • Surgery center kidney stone removal (various sources) $3500 – $8000
  • Hospital robotic prostate cancer surgery (various sources) $18,000 – $20,000

 

That’s a lot of zeros. However, now you can plan.

One trendsetter in transparent pricing is the Surgery Center of Oklahoma. They have been “posting prices since 2009” and are the model of a direct pay system. You can go to their website and easily cost compare to your local options.

Conclusions: Urologist Visit without Insurance

There is no doubt that healthcare costs are staggering. But at least we are starting to have some transparency in our healthcare costs. Don’t worry, insurance companies have transparency as well . . . like UnitedHealth having made $4.9 BILLION in the first quarter of 2021 as well.

Take a moment to let that sink in. Almost $5 billion dollars in profit, over just 3 months. You can guess where the money is coming from.

VirtuCare is different. We put the patient and physician first. You deserve transparent affordable pricing. My colleagues deserve to be paid directly and 100% of the time for their expertise.

We can’t treat everything with telemedicine, but what we can treat, we treat exceptionally well. If you require an in-person evaluation, then we’ll do our best to find you a trusted colleague, ideally with transparent cash fees.

That sounds like progress . . . doesn’t it?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Joe Pazona

Dr. Joseph Pazona is the founder and President of VirtuCare, a telemedicine solution for connecting patients with physician experts. He can be reached at joe@myvirtucare.com.
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We’re here to help.

At VirtuCare, we believe that patients deserve direct access to the experts. There should be no gatekeeper standing between you and a healthcare specialist. VirtuCare puts you in control.

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