I also know of providers who will provide competitive prices for self-pay patients. Just to give an example, I saved $100 on an ear exam and wax impaction removal by calling around.
However, when it comes to management of many conditions, I have found that cost and quality varies greatly from provider to provider and it can be extremely rewarding to shop around. For instance, I drive six hours each way to see a sleep specialist. Why? First of all, he doesn't treat me like a freak like some other doctors I've been to. Second, he obviously knows his stuff. Finally, his clinic will observe you in their sleep laboratory for two nights for less cost than one night at the local hospital here.
I've heard from patients with the same condition in the UK who say that they have their assigned specialist and if they aren't satisfied with the care they receive, they are totally out of luck.
I am in my early thirties and I live with Asperger's Syndrome. I didn't know about Asperger's until my mid twenties. My entire childhood was spent being ostracised by other children for being different, and video games were my escape. Emotional abuse was just a part of life for me. I never considered myself a victim of PTSD, but I do remember a while back, I had a rather shocking flashback to repressed memories when my wife and I were discussing sending our child to school. Chief among these memories was the memory of being verbally and physically abused by older children on the school bus.
The thing is, even when you do understand a thing like Asperger's, it's still difficult to fit with "normal" people (or to use the jargon, neurotypicals). I mean, I've never been in a life-threatening situation on account of this, but I wonder if something like CPTSD could explain some of the emotional issues I live with.
Do you have any thoughts to share on this?
To me, the true outrage is that the drug company is gouging your sister and her insurance company for those drugs. I know of no other legal monopoly that has a heavily armed federal agency dedicated solely to its maintenance. (the DEA)
A real leader would tell the drug company where they can shove the $5000 price tag.
Consultants are mystical people who ask a company for a number and then give it back to them.