Health insurers will disclose cost estimates. Customers can learn of out-of-pocket expenses.
JS Wed May 28 2008
Now here’s a golden marketing and business opportunity for alternative and complimentary practitioners: Put it out there. Easy access to pricing information consumers want to know, and deserve to know, without hassles. And let’s get the word out.
Most consumers are frustrated with all the hoops and hassles of our health care and health insurance industries. And that opens opportunity to other health and wellness practitioners.
Simply post prices for basic, common services: An acupuncture session, a chiropractic assessment, a therapeutic massage, reiki session, life and wellness coaching, thermography, a nutritional support consultation, reflexology, personal trainer, hypnosis, art therapy, a routine physical….
Most complimentary and alernative, holistic practitioners readily offer that information. Many also post it on their website. Businesses know what their costs are and what fees they charge.
When I go to a grocery store, or a clothing store, or a restaurant, I expect prices to be easy to find. Don’t you? That’s a simple, basic, reasonable consumer expectation. If the traditional medical community is unwilling to offer that, then as intelligent consumers (and the ones making the payment) let’s look around, do a little research (the internet is an amazing thing), and make alternative (often less invasive, more effective) choices.
True, the service you select may not be ‘covered’ under your insurance. And it will be an out-of-pocket expense. And maybe that’s to your benefit.
Ask yourself this: How high is your insurance deductible? Chances are you’d be paying for your services out of pocket anyhow. The difference is, the services expenditure, and your condition, won’t be ‘tracked’ in some insurance company’s global database. And the services report will come directly do you. It won’t need interpretation by another expert (and another appointment and fee) to explain it to you. You’ll also likely be dealing with smaller, more personal, private practice businesss.
There’s no questions traditional health care has it’s place. It just has this big insurance industry attached to it. And the interests of the clinics and the doctors and the pharmacuetical companies are all intertwined. The language they speak is also of illness and disease, and a lot of it preys on fears. How about the language of wellness instead…
Call me cynical or suspicious. It seems to me, however, that these players have a vested interest in keeping their clientele (us) ‘in the system.’ They push pills with a litany of known serious side affects to keep the cycle going. Whatever happened to learning from Mother Nature, teaching natural self-care and home remedies, and learning about nutrition, how to get healthy and stay healthy, and use the right body fuel, so we won’t keep coming back for complications from the same conditions.
It’s your body and your life and your money. You’re the consumer and the customer. And we do have options and choices. There are service providers and healers, traditional and nontraditional, who will gladly answer your pricing questions without hassles, treat you with respect, and tell you about their services and how they work to help your body.
Who do you trust? Who treats you well? Who’s wellness philosophy and focus fit you and your need? Who have your friends and associates recommended?
There are directories of holistic practitioners. Some are listed here. Readers are invited to comment and add others.
Outpost Exchange Magazine and Directory – Milwaukee
Wellness Incentives Guide – Southeastern Wisconsin