Paragon Press – October 2014

Two patients have the same knee replacement surgery. One goes to a state-of-the art medical hospital. The other goes to a surgery center. Both are located in the same town, with experienced surgeons. One costs $15,000 and the other costs $3,000. Why the difference?

Hospitals Prove More Expensive Than Surgery Centers; Quality up with lower cost facilities

A study this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) set out to see if costs at medical facilities owned by local hospitals, such as the newly built Asante Center for Outpatient Health, are higher than places owned by physician groups, such as Paragon Orthopedic Center and the Grants Pass Surgery Center. It was determined that the hospital-0wned facilities were charging patients higher rates for outpatient procedures, labs for diagnostic tests, and professional services.

Large hospitals have the negotiating power to raise the prices for their services and negotiate higher fees. According to a study done by the Urban Institute, insurance companies, whether they are non-profit or for-profit, are not to blame for the high price of medical costs. Forbes magazine noted, “As hospitals bond together in ever larger networks, their negotiating leverage rises much more quickly than the quality of care.” Smaller can be better, and less expensive. Patients are urged to be knowledgeable of prices for everything from labs, to diagnostic tests, to surgeries. Know there are options out there for high-quality, lower-cost care. The healthcare providers at Paragon are always willing to discuss how to get your healthcare needs met at the best prices.

Americans frequently shop around for the best deals in food and clothing. Why don’t we do the same for our healthcare?

Focus: EBOLA

People are growing in their concerns about the Ebola virus, however, there has been a lot of good information and misinformation about the spread of it. Educate yourself and others.

Here are the most recent facts on Ebola:

  • Symptoms occur between 2 and 21 days after exposure. Symptoms include fever, severe headache, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and unexplained bleeding.
  • The fatality rate is 50 percent. A person is immune for 10 years if the person recovers.
  • The disease is spread by direct contact with blood and other body fluids from an Ebola-infected person. IT IS NOT SPREAD THROUGH THE AIR OR WATER.
  • It has been suggested that dogs can get Ebola, but the chance of a dog in the U.S. contracting it is very small because our dogs aren’t near corpses or eating infected animals. More studies need to be done for conclusive facts on dogs carrying Ebola.

Don’t let all the media attention on this virus distract you from being concerned about other really important health matters, such as getting your flu vaccination and always washing hands.

The following articles were referenced in making this newsletter:

Miller, Robin. (2014, October 10). Focus on overall health rather than Ebola scare. Daily Courier, Grants Pass, Oregon, p12A