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FAQ | Cash Medical Care
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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Why CashMedicalCare?

Without a clear and transparent market where buyers know all their pricing and value options health care costs will continue to rise.  The most efficient way to deliver goods and services between two parties is the free market.  Competition drives down prices and in the end he consumer wins.

A number of States have chipped away at the pricing issue. Find out more at NCLS.org to see if your State has pricing reforms in place.

In Arizona, where CashMedicalCare was founded, our founder worked to push a transparency law through State government. It was opposed by Insurance companies and Hospitals. Why? Because who benefits in a price controlled and complicated marketplace? Those that are large enough to control all aspects of the market.  Not the consumer.  More on Arizona’s transparency bill.

How does it work?

Just like Priceline revolutionized the hotel, airline and rental car booking market, CashMedicalCare is working to bring consumers and vendors together in a competitive marketplace.  If you are a testing lab with a $2 million state of the art MRI machine,  it’s in your interest to keep the machine running.  Just like a hotel room, once a reservation has gone unfilled all the revenue goes un-captured.  What CashMedicalCare does is act as a clearing house for surgeons, medical labs, CT Scanners and Dentists to offer their unused pricing at a discount.  You are and the medical/dental provider at winners.

How much does a CashMedicalCare  to cost to use?

Just like bidding sites in the travel industry, CashMedicalCare  earns revenue by putting you in touch with vendors that you chose to work with.  So the cost to you is NOTHING, we bring clients to our Provider vendors they pay a booking fee for our advertising efforts.

Is this site associated with any organization or group in the medical industry?

Our site is independent of any provider, insurance carrier, or government entity. We are not required to maintain any sensitive relationships with groups of hospitals or physicians, as is the case with insurance carriers . We under contract to keep some prices secret, as large medical institutions often are. We are especially receptive to working with independent facilities in the medical and dental areas. Independent medical and dental practice are the small businesses that are flexible and adaptive to pricing strategies like ours.

Can’t you get price data from hospitals, doctors, and insurance companies?

Every business and organization offering health care services has pricing data, as does every plan of every insurance carrier. The total amount of pricing data for health care services in the U.S. is huge, but the vast majority of it is being withheld from public view. It is just too lucrative for institutions to continue keeping consumers in the dark about pricing. And truthfully, very few people even within these organizations know what their own prices are. If you’ve tried calling around for this type of information you know what we mean.

Our goal is to get as much information into your hands as possible. We do our best to provide you with the total price for your service but there are going to be additional costs that are incurred.  It’s important that you take our information, price quote or referral form and continue to ask the important question of ‘how much more do you anticipate this costing’?

Referrals for dental crowns are pretty straight forward but a knee replacement may be a much more complicated process.

For example; in a major surgery like a knee replacement the US average is about $24,000. The breakdown is as follows:

  • $4500 Artificial knee –
  • $500 Radiology
  • $600 Nurse technician
  • $2400 Surgeon
  • $1200 Anesthesia
  • $600 Operating supplies
  • $2500 Operating room charge
  • $700 Recovery room charge
  • $11,000 Hospital room stay at 3.5 days
  • $200 Braces or crutches

So even when we refer you to a Provider, continue to ask HOW MUCH!

Do you get data from any sources other than the Vendors bidding for my business?

We are regularly importing data from public and proprietary sources and expect that flow to increase over time.   Americans are becoming increasingly savvy at searching for healthcare cost information on the internet. Last year alone over 30,000 million people used the internet during their health care decision process. We hope to make it easier for them to find what they’re looking for.

The importance of Medical and Dental Codes?

Medical and Dental billing is done at the code level. Comparing line items with the same text description but different medical codes from two different bills may not be an apples-to-apples comparison. For example, there is a different code (at a higher price) used for seeing a physician at their office if you are a new patient vs. an established patient. There are also different codes used depending on how long you spend in a physician’s office. You should be skeptical of anyone offering to give you a quote on medical services that doesn’t mention medical codes and their affect on what you pay. We at CashMedicalCare  do our best to offer you a referral with the Medical and Dental codes associated with the procedure you are undergoing. These codes help everyone speak and understand in a common means.

Won’t lower-priced care generally result in lower-quality care?

There have been studies year after year attempting to find a correlation between price and quality of care, but there has never been any evidence found that paying more results in higher quality care.  We strive to work only with the highest quality medical and dental professionals in your market.  In the end, you are in charge of the relationship so we encourage you to ask questions about experience, credentials and judge for yourself if there is a fit with the provider or service you are being referred to. If you have a positive or negative experience, we want to know. Your feedback is critical to ensuring we only work with the highest quality and best value firms in your market.  Let us know how your service went at support@cashmedicalcare.com.

Numerous studies and analysis have proven that spending more on medical care doesn’t always lead to better outcomes. The goal should always be quality care at a fair price. CashMedicalCare  helps you make that decision.

How does the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) affect what CashMedicalCare   is doing?

In analyzing the newly launched exchanges it looks like higher deductibles and large co-pays are here to stay in American healthcare. To make the plans affordable, you can chose between Gold – Silver and Bronze plans with each having larger out of pocket and co-pay expenses.  For example the Bronze plan, which has the lowest monthly premiums typically come with a $4000 per individual or $8000 deductible with a total of $12,700 total family out of pocket expense (a blend of deductible matches and co-pays). That’s on top of a 40% co-pay for most services.

How this actually works for a Bronze plan holder is as follows;  If you need to go to an Urgent Care with a mild fever, first you have to have paid your full deductible of $4000, then the out of pocket co-pay is going to be $120. Not that big of a bargain when you consider the spot price for a CashMedicalCare  Urgent Care visit can be as low as $89, depending on your market.

The ACA focuses primarily on providing insurance to Americans who did not have it previously, and does not slow the rise in healthcare costs. Prices are increasing for many under the ACA, and rather than address rising costs, government subsidies will be used to mask what the real prices are, placing the burden on taxpayers, employers, and employees, and becoming a huge incentive for fraud. A large number of experts on both sides of the political aisle have come to the same conclusion.

Don’t most people have good health plans through their employers?

The number of Americans with employer-based health insurance has been declining for years, and is now well below 50% of the country. Employers large and small are almost all either moving to high-deductible plans or getting out of employer health benefits altogether.

High deductibles are here to stay. For the first time in more than a decade the growth in healthcare spending has slowed in America. Many studies have concluded that high deductible plans and more consumers asking –‘How Much Is This Going To Cost?’ and ‘Do I Really Need This Service?’ being major contributors to this trend.  AEI Ideas.

Once everyone’s insured, don’t we all just care about our in-network rates?

The CBO estimates after the ACA is fully in place, there will still be some 30 million Americans uninsured. And as insurance-negotiated rates increase, there are actually a growing number of people discovering that going outside the insurance system and paying cash rates saves them a lot of money.

I’m on Medicare – is this site for me?

Large numbers of providers are getting out moving away from Medicare and Medicaid insurance plans.  If trends continue, it will become increasingly difficult to find practices that will take on new Medicare or Medicaid patients. The result will be that the beneficiaries of these programs, many with lower-than-average incomes, will be forced to pay high list prices directly. CashMedicalCare  will help these consumers find quality care they can afford. CashMedicalCare is just another option to supplement the care you currently have.

If you look to markets that have universal coverage such as Canada and Britain, you’ll see a trend of long wait lines, bureaucratic inefficiencies and in some regions inferior care. In a single payor, government controlled healthcare delivery model there is always room for a cash based system for those who want better service and care.  CashMedicalCare  is on the cutting edge of this market trending.   More on Canada’s wait times from National Post of Canada.

The national median wait time was 18.2 weeks, about three days longer than last year, according to Waiting Your Turn, the 2013 edition of the Fraser Institute’s annual report. In 1993, the median wait time was 9.3 weeks.

Can my doctor’s office use the CashMedicalCare site when recommending treatments?

Yes, and please ask the healthcare facilities that you visit to use CashMedicalCare  and inquire about becoming a vendor. We are also creating products specifically for medical organizations with the intent of providing better care for consumers at a lower cost.

Is my buying habits and activity on CashMedicalCare  private?

CashMedicalCare  does not share out data with third parties. We do use the referral trends of our clients to determine which industries and specialties are the most popular and continue to expand our offering of vendors to match your needs.  Visit our Privacy Page for more information.

What about my personal healthcare information?

We go into depth on personal health information and HIPPA regulations at our Privacy Page.

What happens if I decide not to use the medical or dental service you referred me to?

If you’ve done your home work, decided we are the best option for your particular needs and request a referral to one of our vendors and then decide not to use the service then simply do nothing.  Your financial arrangement is between you and the vendor we send you to.  All the terms, warranties and financial agreements are between both of you and not CashMedicalCare.

How do I submit my medical provider claim to my healthcare insurance to apply towards my deductible?

If you are planning on submitting your medical providers invoice to your insurance we recommend you contact your insurance company prior to using our service to learn about any special procedures  you should follow. You have a right to go where you want for your care. Your insurance company may discourage visits outside of their network but you must weigh the costs and benefits of where you receive care.

Your provider can provide you with a detailed invoice including ICD-9 codes which are universally accepted visit and procedure codes that tell the insurance companies what services you received. For many medical test, including labs your insurance company will also need a diagnosis code which tells them why your Provider is ordering the tests they are ordering.

Get an invoice, make sure the ICD9 and Diagnosis Code is accompanied just to be safe. If you are not applying your charges towards your deductible don’t worry about sending in your forms.

Some of your medical forms may have tax destructibility benefits. Visit the IRS to learn more.

How far away do I have to go to visit your providers?

We try to match you with a medical or dental service provider as close as possible to your home. In larger communities you may have to drive across town to get the best quality and price service in our network.  For certain services, like plastic surgery or Mexico dentistry we may offer you a vendor that is in an adjoining town.  For these major purchases it may make sense to drive a little farther to get a better price.

Who collects my money?

In most cases your medical or dental provider collects the fees for services.  Given the unique nature of medicine and dental services it is not uncommon to find out you need more or less of the services you originally thought.  You provider will tell you up front what your fees will be and charge you accordingly. When you request a referral, if payment arrangements are unique it will explain those arrangements prior to your service.

What if I have an emergency? Can I still use CashMedialCare?

CashMedicalCare is not equipped to handle emergencies and we recommend that you contact 911, just like you would normally do in an emergency.

I live in Mexico, how does CashMedicalCare work for me?

America has the top medical technologies and some of the highest skilled medical professionals in the entire world.  For years Mexican citizens have traveled to America for surgeries and procedures that may not be readily available in their country.

Typically these medical tourism visits involve paying full price for all the services requested. Pricing in American healthcare is very confusing and the actual price a hospital or doctor bills is much much more than what could be negotiated.

CashMedicalCare  offers a few options for Mexican citizens that are looking for American medical services; recovery and luxury hotel accommodations for you and your family.  These bundles are negotiated and packaged to give you the highest quality, most comfort and best pricing available.

Second, if you have a physician or surgeon you want to use let us handle all the other logistics including surgery center, hospital, recovery and anesthesia. Each of these elements of your visit can be negotiated and save you a considerable amount of money. We know the process, the questions to ask and act on your behalf to ensure the best quality and value for your money.

I got a better price on my own.  I thought you were supposed to be the best price?

CashMedicalCare has as it’s mission to bring you the best pricing and quality possible for your healthcare dollars. We believe that if we create an online market place that puts vendors and customers together with clearly stated pricing that the escalating costs of American healthcare will start to get under control.  The most efficient way to provide goods and services is the free market.  American healthcare hasn’t been a free market system for over two decades and you can see where we are at today.

If you have a better price than we’ve found for you TELL US! We are constantly looking, negotiating and pushing for the best pricing for medical and dental services for you and all our clients.  Be our eyes and ears on what’s going on in your market and we’ll share what you’ve found!

Just like travel sites like PriceLine.com or Hotwire.com has revolutionized the delivery of hotel, air and rental cars we hope to build a marketplace at CashMedicalCare   where medical and dental service providers and testing facilities can fill extra capacity with waiting patients ready to pay a fair price.

I need a service or provider category that you don’t show listed.  Can you help me negotiate a better price?

Yes! If we can help you we will. Chances are if you are looking for a service we don’t offer others are too.

I don’t live in your area, but like what I see. What are my options?

CashMedicalCare  has plan to deliver this service to every market in America. That process takes time and talent. We are working daily to expand so keep checking back.

I’m a Doctor/Dentist/Surgeon or Medical testing facility, how do I become part of your program?

We are always looking for good quality providers that can deliver a great price to our clients. If you would like to learn more about CashMedicalCare  and our ability to help your practice send us a note at support@cashmedicalcare.com.  Visit our Provider Registration page to learn more.

Your prescription discounts are better than what I pay through my insurance plan, do I need to use insurance?

NO, prescription medications is a complex and difficult market to navigate. There are difference between generic and brand name pharmaceutical and purchasing your prescriptions at a national chain pharmacy, grocery store pharmacy or online pharmacy.  We’ve researched the various pharmacy discount programs in the US and partnered with ReformRelief.  ReformRelief  has exceptional pricing, a great look up tool that helps you find what you are looking for at a great price in your local market. Once you find the prescription you are going to fill, simply click the order button and a coupon will pop up that you can take into the local pharmacy that you chose for the exceptional pricing you where quoted.  Keep the ReformRelief– CashMedicalCare  pricing coupon with our group number and you can receive great discounts on all your prescription medications.  We can mail you a ReformRelief-CashMedicalCare card to keep in your wallet for discounts on all future purchases, just send us a note at support@cashmedicalcare.com.  For most prescriptions, ReformRelief offers an option to buy online for additional savings. The process is smooth and easy to set up. Once you’ve set up the online pharmacy, refills are exceptionally easy with a few clicks of your mouse.

Does the referral for Plastic Surgery cover everything I may need?

Yes and No.  The pricing information that we send over to you when requesting a cosmetic procedure will detail what is included and at what price.  Typically a surgery involves a surgeon’s billing, a facility billing and anesthesia billing and in the case of implants, the actual cost of the implant. We try to bundle all the prices for you and detail what pricing you should expect when you visit the Plastic Surgery center. There may be additional charges if you add additional items, request extra accommodates in anesthesia, facilities or recovery facilities. Your CashMedicalCare.com referral to a Plastic Surgeon spells out what to expect but we highly encourage you to discuss with your provider what else is or is not covered in your procedure.  Let us know how your service worked out, your feedback to us is important to ensure that we work only with the top Providers in our markets.

What if you send me to a Doctor/Dentist for one thing and I need more work?

I had my lab/MRI/x-ray done and there was a problem with the results. What do I do know?

What if I’m not happy with my Provider or Vendor BEFORE I’ve had my services?

What if I’m not happy with my Provider or Vendor AFTER I’ve had my services?

What if the advertised price you sent me isn’t the same as the price the Provider/Vendor is offering me at their office?

Get an invoice, make sure the ICD9 and Diagnosis Code is accompanied just to be safe. If you are not applying your charges towards your deductable don’t worry about sending in your forms.

How does the Mexico dentist serve work?

The dental services in Mexico are very similar to those you’ll find in the US.  We work with a select group of Mexico dental practices that have demonstrated exceptional quality dental care over a long period of time.  Our affiliated dentist understand that repeat clients are critical to their future success with CashMedicalCare.  Should an issue arise with your dental work, just like in America, your dentist will do everything in their power to ensure you are completely satisfied with their work. CashMedicalCare  would love to hear about your experience so we can ensure our vendors are delivering the top quality care at a fair price. Send your feedback to support@cashmedicalcare.com.

What about security in Mexico?

When you visit a dentist in Mexico you are visiting a foreign country.  To learn more about the ins and outs of travel into Mexico visit WikiTravel.  When traveling to Nogales Mexico to visit our dental partners, we recommend you park on the American side of the border and walk the 4 blocks to see our dentist. From the border crossing into Mexico you will find restaurants, hotels and shopping all along your walking path. The majority of the locals speak English and are more than happy that you are in their country. You are a major source of income in Mexico and they go out of their way to make you feel welcome.  For a first hand experience of what to expect from parking to crossing, read THIS article or this piece from the NY Times.

The documents needed to return to America is a valid US Passport.  U.S. citizens:

Passport

 A passport is hands-down the best form of identification and proof of citizenship. I recommend that you get a passport for travel to Mexico, and if you’ll be entering the country by air, it’s necessary. If for some reason you are unable or you do not want to get a passport, for travel to Mexico by land or sea the following documents are acceptable travel documents for US citizens:

Passport card

 Issued by the U.S. Department of State, this passport substitute is credit-card sized and valid for entry into Mexico by land or sea. The passport card is not accepted for air travel. Read more about passport cards, and find out how to apply for one.

Enhanced Drivers License

 Enhanced Drivers Licenses are proof of citizenship and identity. These special drivers licenses are valid for travel to Mexico by land or sea, but are not valid for air travel. Only available in some states (Michigan, New York, Vermont, and Washington). See individual state licensing departments for more info. The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) may accept a valid drivers license from other States but there may be a delay and further scrutiny put on you if you travel just with a drivers license.

SENTRI Card

 The SENTRI Card is issued by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to pre-approved travelers who cross the U.S./Mexico border frequently. It has the added benefit of access to dedicated commuter lanes for crossing the border. The card is valid for 5 years.

FAST card

 The FAST card provides expedited travel to pre-approved commercial truck drivers between the U.S. and Canada, and U.S. and Mexico borders through dedicated lanes.

U.S. Permanent Residents:

 For permanent residents of the United States, the I-551 Permanent Resident card is required for return to the U.S. For entry into Mexico, you will need to present a passport.

Canadian citizens:

 As of March 1, 2010, a passport is required for Canadian citizens traveling to Mexico.

Citizens of other countries:

 Passport, and in some cases, a visa as well.

What about a drivers license or birth certificate, will that allow me to return through US Customs?

From the Nogales International – Nov. 2010. The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), which went into effect in June 2009, requires all U.S. citizens to present a passport, passport card, enhanced driver’s license or tribal card, or a trusted traveler document such as a SENTRI card to get back into the country. But Nogales residents know it’s not unusual to see people like Castillo using a birth certificate to re-enter the country at local border crossings.

“Birth certificates are not WHTI-approved documents,” CBP spokesman Brian Levin said. “There are certain security features that have to be there – RFID (radio frequency identification) chip and machine-readable strip.”

Even so, he added, “That’s not to say that we’re going to turn somebody away if they have a birth certificate.”

Travelers who don’t have one of the WHTI-approved documents can use a birth certificate in combination with a government-issued photo ID to gain entry, Levin said. If they have only one or the other, or no identification, they won’t be denied entry to the country, but their crossing will be delayed until they can prove their citizenship.

In that case, the person would be sent for further inspection to figure out what means they had to prove their citizenship. Sometimes people call home and get a friend or relative to bring their passport down to the port of entry. Other times a friend or relative might fax a copy of their passport or other identification to CBP to help substantiate their citizenship.

Juveniles under age 16 don’t need a passport, Levin said – just a birth certificate or state-issued photo identification, ideally both.

“We’re not going to refuse entry to a U.S. citizen, but if they don’t have one of those documents they have to have something else, they’re going to have to find some way to prove to us they’re a U.S. citizen,” Levin said. “We’re going to be looking for something else to prove who you are…Your travel could very well be delayed while you prove it.”