Save Cash Avoiding Pointless X-Rays

X-ray of the human knee


Our healthcare system is broken and patients are paying a larger portion of the bill thanks to high deductible plans. This forces us to become smarter patients in order to keep healthcare costs down. Unfortunately, the medical industrial complex continues to find ways to make money, and unnecessary maintenance is one way to brush the dough.

One way to bill medical bills is to order unnecessary x-rays. How does this happen and what can you do to avoid the waste?

When you make an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon, the receptionist will ask what is bothering you. For example, if you say it is your left lower leg, an X-ray of your left lower leg may be ordered when you enter the office before the doctor examines you. More and more offices are doing this in the interests of “saving time” – theirs, not yours. And it costs money! X-rays can easily cost a few hundred dollars and there is no need to expose yourself to unnecessary X-rays.

An X-ray is a diagnostic test that should be ordered based on the medical history and physical exam. Not every musculoskeletal injury needs x-rays – we even have rules for how to do this ankle, knee, and back Injuries specifically designed to reduce unnecessary x-rays. People also visit the orthopedic surgeon for muscle problems that may not involve bone structures.

If you see a doctor about a musculoskeletal problem and don’t know if an X-ray is appropriate, it is important to speak up and ask why an X-ray is being done before the doctor sees you.

If you do dispute the problem, always be nice. Just say, “I’m not sure I need an X-ray and I want to see the doctor before an X-ray is taken.” If there is a pushback, let the technician know that you have a high deductible that you do do not believe that the problem is with the bone and that you want the doctor to examine you to see if the x-ray is really necessary. The technician is unlikely to be paid a high salary, so they may understand your situation. Of course, if you think you need an X-ray, be sure to get it before the doctor sees you.

I recently had to see an orthopedic surgeon about a longstanding problem with a bicycle injury years ago. The technician called me from the waiting room. I assumed I was being led to a patient room and lo and behold, she led me to an X-ray room. I immediately said, “I don’t know why you are ordering an X-ray. I don’t need one because this is an old problem and the doctor has seen me before. ”She immediately took me back to the waiting room and no X-ray was taken.

There is a concern about not going through the “process” of ordering x-rays prior to the visit – the medical service providers may resent your authorization. This is your problem, not yours. If they take their frustration out on you, repeat that you are trying to keep your costs down and that you know that x-rays should generally be ordered after the doctor visits the patient. Hopefully they will respect that and give you the care you deserve. If it doesn’t, write a review and find a new doctor.

Getting the health care you need and not driving up costs with unnecessary testing and treatment can be difficult, but it is important to do so. If enough people question the system, maybe one day we’ll get the health care we deserve at a price we can afford.

Katie Cullum: Ideas for avoiding cash issues | Neighborhood

Are you worried about money? Do you and your family argue about money?

Money is a common problem for a family regardless of the income, age or education of the family members. Sometimes a lack of income to meet basic needs leads to money problems. In most cases, poor communication about money is at the root of financial problems.

Like me, you may have grown up in a household where money wasn’t talked about much. Or maybe you grew up in a household where a shared conversation was about how much someone made that week and how they would spend their paycheck.

If family members have different values ​​and attitudes towards spending and saving money or if families strive for unrealistic goals, there is potential for conflict! And no matter how much money it costs – everything makes a difference.

Perhaps one spouse will happily buy 3 or 4 soft drinks a day while the other knows how to save money with coupons. Or maybe one spouse enjoys hunting (and buying guns, camouflage paint, a four-wheeler, trailer, and other “stuff”) and the other saves and saves their dime to buy a new suit at a consignment store. If family members don’t “talk”, even the best spending plan may not work.

Preventing and overcoming money problems requires honest and honest communication. It also takes time and effort. If you are fortunate enough to have a little “extra” cash from stimulus checks, you may have a hard time deciding how to wisely use that extra cash.

Change, confusion and conflict are a normal part of everyone’s life. Changes in employment patterns or new ways of generating income have led us to rethink how we earn and how we spend. It is easy for family members to be guided by news from the world around them (new cars, new houses, better “things”, etc.). Often times this can lead to a loss of knowledge about what is really important for each individual and for the whole family.

Anticipating and handling change, good or bad, as it will affect the way money is used, is a challenging aspect of financial management. The most basic rule is to live within your income. When your income takes a leap, reduce your expenses. As your income increases, you have more choices! If you have more, it is highly recommended that you save 3-6 months to take away as a “safety net” if you haven’t already. Then you can start saving up for other dreams and goals, like a long cruise or even an investment in the stock market.

But if your family disagrees on money issues, you may have a hard time doing something. When discussing money with a spouse or other family member, ask the following questions:

  • How do you feel about the way your family communicates about money?
  • Share your “ideal”. How do you want your situation to be?
  • Identify where you need help. Do you agree or disagree with the need for help?
  • What resources are available to you?
  • Can you talk to someone else about their financial mistakes (e.g. overspending, making big purchases without you)?
  • Can you talk about potential money problems before they arise?

Making financial decisions is a challenge for every family. If you’re having trouble making decisions, these steps can help you find an acceptable solution for everyone involved.

Step 1: define the problem. Be precise. List only one problem at a time (try not to bring up the _____ incident from 3 years ago).

Step 2: Name ways in which the problem can be solved. Write down all the possible solutions that come to mind. Don’t judge their worth at this point (don’t make quick judgments).

Step 3: Now evaluate each of the solutions listed in Step 2. Are they workable, practical, and acceptable to everyone involved? Can you combine several alternatives?

Step 4: choose a solution. Describe the steps required to arrive at this solution.

Step 5: What could be getting in the way of achieving your goal? How can you avoid these obstacles? What are you willing to sacrifice to solve this problem? Whose support do you need?

Check out my blog – Little Steps to Healthy Habits – and check out the Kids and Money franchise. Learn tips on how to talk about money with your kids, including downloadable parenting guides. If you are struggling with money, don’t hesitate to give me a call. I have a great handout on family communication about money that can get you started. We also have publications on Shape Up Your Spending and Achieving Financial Goals.

Katie Cullum is a County Extension Agent – Family and Consumer Science for the White County Cooperative Extension Service. You can email at or called at (501) 268-5394. visit for more informations.

Cash myths: Bank cards, paying off balances, avoiding curiosity and saving

CHICAGO (WLS) – Are you making the right choice when it comes to choosing and using a credit card – or money in general? The I-Team reveals, according to a recent poll of “money myths” Loan tree.

Myth number 1:

Almost half (45%) of Americans believe that having some credit on their credit card will improve their credit score! The truth is, it has the potential to hurt you!

Myth number 2:

Thirty percent of people thought it was bad to use a credit card and it was better to use cash or a debit card to make payments. However, there is nothing wrong with using a credit card when you are withdrawing funds and avoiding interest.

In fact, using a credit card can provide the greatest protection when you need to contest a charge.

Myth number 3:

More than 20% of Americans believe that you don’t have to start saving for retirement until after you are 40 years old. However, experts say you should get to work right away, even if it is a small amount.

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