Physicians and hospitals overcharge uninsured self-pay patients 2.5 what they charge insurance companies, and until now there has been nothing that individual consumers can do to avoid this overbilling. There simply was no place for an individual to go where she can search for a doctor, shop for the specific medical service needed, compare physician training and prices, schedule an appointment and save money. A new company SnapHealth located in Houston, Texas is trying to change all of that.
SnapHealth is a website that allows doctors to display their services and prices to individuals who do not have insurance and have specific healthcare needs. Prices for annual physical exams by an internal medicine physician start as low as $100. A treadmill stress test by a board certified cardiologist start as low as $200. A foot consultation by a podiatrist is listed for $50. Physicians like SnapHealth because it allows them to market themselves to self-pay patients and to provide consumers with information that differentiates them on price and training. Self-pay patients like it because they can purchase only the healthcare they need at a known price after comparison shopping. SnapHealth also has laboratory services that one can purchase, such as a PSA test for $30, testosterone levels for $35, or an ankle (three views) or chest x-ray for $35.
Healthcare in the Unites States is not an open efficient market for individual consumers who want or need to pay with cash for required medical care. Physicians and hospitals overcharge uninsured patients to make up for lower rates paid by insurance companies, hospitals and Medicare/Medicaid which get premium discounts and bargain for the best price. Until now, the individual patient without insurance or who needs to pay with cash has been overcharged and underserved. SnapHealth is a company that is trying to change that and bring Power to Patients.