Today I went to a walk-in clinic in Oak Ridge, TN. I've had a cough for about 5 months but it's gotten a lot worse since we've returned from Moldova and I can hardly sleep at night.
As I waited in the lobby I heard complaints from other patients about how this is the slowest and worst clinic, how coming here is an all-day affair, etc. I waited about an hour before I was called. They were pretty efficient in their tests and things, it was just over another hour before I was done.
In the end, they diagnosed it as something having flared up my long-dormant asthma, and I have bronchitis on top of that. I was given:
1. A chest X-ray.
2. A TB test.
3. I was hooked to one of those breathing machines for asthmatic people.
4. A consultation with a doctor.
The doctor was good about not giving me other things because they were expensive, and she even called around to see if it would cheaper to get an x-ray elsewhere. I appreciated that.
When I went to pay, the initial bill was $107. But, they took $41 off the bill simply because I was paying immediately. So, it cost me $66 total for the visit. I was quite pleased to get all of these things and was reminded of two things:
1. Paying up front (sometimes in cash) gets you discounts. Every company knows that if someone walks out their door without paying their entire bill there's a good chance they'll never get their money.
2. If I had had insurance, the full bill would have been $107. Partly because of the above reason. While I would not have had to pay that full amount, the total inflated bill would have contributed to the inflated cost of health care in America.
The doctor wrote prescriptions for 4 items, two of which were generic. I got them filled at Wal-Mart to try and save a little extra. In all, they cost me much more money than the visit itself. (Actually, someone else paid for all these items, so we're thankful).
But, I appreciated the quality and discount at the clinic. If you're ever sick in Oak Ridge, check out the Park Med Urgent Care Center.