Staff Members at Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill

Reports this week showed that United States increase in health care cost finally slowed down. We are not sure exactly which factors contributed to this change, but I suspect that physicians are getting creative with cost. Are you looking to cut your health care costs? From my experience, here are some things you can do:

stop smoking!

· if you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day at $5 a pack, that is $150 a month, $1800 a year

· smoking increases your health insurance and life insurance premiums

· long–term smoking will likely lead to increased doctor visits, increased medications, increased ER visits, increased hospitalizations, more disability, increased need for home care

consider costs of your non-prescription medications

· look at your medicine cabinet – take out all the nonprescription medications, vitamins, and supplements

· how much are you spending on non-prescription medications?

· what is the evidence that these medications are helping you?

choose your pharmacy wisely

· pharmacies are excellent at selling you expensive things while you wait for your prescription to be filled!

· consider going to a pharmacy that does not have any tempting items

· consider going to a drive–thru pharmacy where you will not see other items for sale

· consider going to a bulk store that offers inexpensive prescriptions – like Target, Wal–Mart, Costco, Kmart

· consider using mail–order for your medications, you will get 90 day supply and avoid the pharmacy altogether

use your primary care staff

· many primary care offices have a nurse help line – use it!

· if there is a nurse or other clinical staff available to you on the phone, ask them simple questions rather than scheduling a doctor’s appointment

· for example: “here are my symptoms, what should I do? should I go to the ER? schedule an appointment?”, also “what should I look out for?”, “if this happens, what should I do next?”

review your prescription medications

· if you do take prescription medications, there may be lower cost alternatives

· schedule an appointment with your doctor to review your medication list, ask if there are any lower–cost options for the medications you need

· if you get a prescription and the cost seems too high, ask the pharmacist why, you may need a prior authorization

Live Mentally Healthy,
Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill