If there’s one thing we can agree upon, it’s that there is zero financial transparency in healthcare. Good luck trying to figure out how much your medical visit is going to cost. Co-pays, deductibles, co-insurance, supplemental plans, fee schedules, and explanation of benefits.
Did your head just explode? What do those terms even mean? Wouldn’t it be nice if you just understood your out-of-pocket expenses with no surprises later on?
At VirtuCare we believe in 100% cost transparency. There is no guessing the urologist consultation fee. We show it to you!
Let us help you try to navigate the confusing world of medical billing so you’re better prepared the next time you have to see your specialist.
Co-pays refer to the amount of money you know you’ll have to pay up front for a medical visit. Regardless of what services the doctor provides you can expect to pay AT LEAST this amount every visit. The average specialist co-pay in the U.S. ranges from $35-50.
What a co-pay doesn’t take into consideration is the following:
- Travel expenses (gas, parking)
- Lost wages from time off of work
- Value of your time
A telemedicine visit outside of insurance with VirtuCare costs $89. Would you be willing to pay an extra $39-54 in urologist consultation fees to visit from the privacy and comfort of your home? We know we would.
But before you answer that question, don’t forget that your urologist consultation fee may also include your . . .
This is where patients really get upset. A deductible is the amount of healthcare costs YOU are responsible for before your insurance company will pay a dime. That’s right. Despite your $5714 in average annual premium payments (for U.S. employer-based health insurance plans), you may still have to spend an additional $8,350 to “hit your deductible”.1 What a racket!
In other words, until you spend over $14,000 of your money, insurance will not necessarily cover your urologist consultation fee or any other medical expenses. Geez. So before you schedule a visit with a local urologist who’s booked out 6 weeks, shouldn’t you figure out how much the urologist consultation fee is going to cost you?
Insurance Billing Process
Ask most urologists or specialists and they have no idea how much their practice charges patients for an office visit. Fear not, somewhere every medical practice has a fee schedule that outlines how much they are going to charge your insurance company.
Many times, this fee schedule is 2-3x the negotiated rate of reimbursement between the urologist and each insurance company. Why is this? This sounds ridiculous?
Rather than risk being underpaid, medical practices routinely “overbill” insurance companies knowing that 99% of the time they will never receive one penny more than the negotiated contract rates.
There are often 10-20 individual contracts between medical practices and insurance companies, and each one has different negotiated rates. It is more practical to overcharge all of the insurance companies, then attempt to calculate the exact cost for the 350 patients a practice cares for each week.
This explains why an explanation of benefits (EOB) form that you may receive in the mail looks so absurd (“$800 for a 15 minute visit!”). Just remember, this is not a bill. It is also not the final calculation of how much you will owe nor how much your doctor will receive.
This is exhausting isn’t it! All you want to know is the amount YOU WILL OWE before the visit so you can make an informed decision! Good luck.
In our traditional medical practice, we once called an insurance company 3 times in one hour to help our patient understand their out-of-pocket expense. We received 3 different answers!
Self Pay Urologist Consultation Fees
A medical practice’s fee schedule should also detail their self-pay rates (outside of insurance) for the urologist consultation fee.
A quick online search reveals little to no published data on these fees. How much are you going to pay? Who knows? There’s no transparency!
One source lists the national average for a urologist consultation fee as $357. Assuming this is correct, and you haven’t hit your deductible, does this sound appealing to you?
Don’t forget your time off of work, loads of paperwork, and an hour long wait in the office just to figure out why you are urinating more frequently at night.
We have a better idea.
VirtuCare – The Transparent Solution
A telemedicine visit with a VirtuCare specialist can address 50-75% of urologic issues from the comfort of your home. More importantly there are NO HIDDEN FEES.
For an $89 urology consultation fee, you will have an initial visit with a board-certified specialist as quickly as today. This includes ordering any medications or lab testing and one week of follow-up communication.
If you feel like you’ll need ongoing help, then our annual partnership plan for $99 ensures a follow up visit with the same VirtuCare expert at a discounted $59 rate.
Lastly, if your urology issue is a bit more complex, a second opinion visit allows up to 30 minutes of face-to-face counseling so all of your concerns can be addressed. We will even review outside records ahead of time and help you find a top surgeon if necessary.
We are as frustrated as you are with the lack of transparency with urology consultation fees. You deserve to know your costs and be charged a fair price that values the great service of our VirtuCare specialists.
Let VirtuCare help you receive outstanding care while keeping your hard-earned money in your pocket.