Pay now or pay more later: Check-ups prevent costly illnesses
December 7, 2008
“If my daughter just had her car serviced regularly, she wouldn’t have run her engine oil dry and burned out her engine,” said the frustrated man with the daughter in college. “Replacing a car engine costs much more than four quarts of oil and the price of a service.”
Human health maintenance isn’t much different than regular car service ” regular check-ups can save a lot of trouble and expense later.
“Don’t put off your health because of finances,” said Brandy Mitchell, Nurse Practitioner. “You might find that the condition gets worse and treatment costs also rise.”
Mitchell uses an example of someone who might be unknowingly running high blood pressure causing irreversible eye or kidney damage. “If that person had regular check-ups we could help before it gets too bad.”
With tightening budgets, some people tend to forego health checks, labs, screenings, procedures, therapies or even surgeries. According to a new report from the American Hospital Association, fewer patients are seeking hospital care during these economic times and a growing number need help paying for care.
Instead of skipping basic health care diagnostics, consider several programs available that might help ease the expense of necessary health care.
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The Colorado Indigent Care Program (CICP) distributes federal and state funds to help compensate qualified health care providers, such a Kremmling Memorial Hospital and its family practice clinics, for uncompensated costs associated with services received by the indigent population. These include Coloradans with a proven financial need who are not eligible for benefits under Medicaid. The business office at the hospital has more information on this and they welcome appointments. They will also help fill out the paper work.
A 20 percent discount is offered to those who pay cash within 45 days. People utilizing this offer must not have private health insurance.
People should not be afraid to come in for health care if they have an outstanding bill with the hospital. By simply making an appointment with the well-trained and friendly hospital staff in the business office, payment plans can be set up that accommodate personal budgets.
An Explanation of Benefits (EOB) is an itemized statement received in the mail from your insurance company. These documents ” not to be confused as bills ” are often confusing. The business office at the hospital invites people to schedule an appointment to go over the details of the EOB and help make sense of it all.
Understanding this document isn’t so much financial assistance but it can help the insured to keep better tabs on health care expenses ” plus it might also help people understand what their private insurance covers and what it does not cover. This way a person can make a better educated decision of what coverage to carry.
When a community member called the hospital a few weeks ago asking if there was a health fair offered midway through the year, sometime after the traditional 9HealthFairs in April, the hospital sprang to action. The physicians, lab personnel, nurses and other volunteers quickly organized two mini-health fairs which were offered in both Granby and Kremmling.
“We intend to make the mini-health fairs a yearly event,” said Bill Widener, CEO of the hospital.
“We are committed to providing quality health care to all people in Grand County regardless of ability to pay,” he said adding that offering specially priced flu shots and lab tests as well as health education during these mini health fairs is an important part of that commitment.
Free Baseline (first ever) Screening Mammogram
Early detection saves lives. This is a slogan so often used to encourage women to have regular mammograms. Kremmling Memorial Hospital has a program in place to make this easy for women who have never had this important diagnostic.
For women who have never had a mammography before and if they approaching their 40th birthday, Kremmling Memorial Hospital offers a free baseline/first ever screening mammogram. This must be scheduled sometime during the month of the woman’s 40th birthday.
Other state and federal programs are also available to assist those who don’t fit the requirements of this particular offer. Call the radiology department at Kremmling Memorial Hospital for details.
If you need assistance, feel comfortable reaching out to these programs, because there is nothing more important than the health of you and your family.
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