How Does Erinfo Save You Money?
Avoid unnecessary diagnostic testing with ERinfo
- Nearly 130 million Americans go to the emergency room every year and almost half of U.S. medical care comes from emergency departments.
- Average costs can be as high as $1,400, increasing with medical procedures.
- Allergen and diagnostic tests can cost thousands of dollars.
- Healthcare providers have to do extra testing when they don’t know a patient’s identity or medical history.
- ERinfo provides critical patient information and saves money on unnecessary tests.
Nearly 130 million Americans go to the emergency room every year and roughly half of all inpatient care starts with a visit to the ER. The average cost of an ER visit in 2017 was $1389, up 176% from a decade ago. The costs vary by age, sex, insurance status, location, and other factors.
Costs tend to climb with the age of the patient and women typically face higher ER costs than men. People who are transferred between departments of a hospital are likely to pay more because of increased testing and care. Areas with higher incomes also generally have higher per-visit ER prices, though their share of aggregate ER costs is lower than areas with lower-income levels.
Costs of an ER visit become even more expensive when the emergency staff and first responders cannot identify you. Unresponsive patients often end up in the emergency room after car or bicycle accidents, natural disasters, or public incidents, and if these unconscious or non-communicative patients don’t have their IDs, healthcare providers have to do a lot of legwork to figure out who they are. We explain how a lack of identification drives up already expensive emergency room costs and how ERinfo eliminates these costs for patients.
The cost of emergency care
The cost of emergency care includes several components, but one of the first and most significant fees is the facility fee. This fee is based on the hospital and even within the same metro area, it can vary wildly.
An analysis of emergency departments in the Denver area shows average fees are between $346 and $3,115 and maximum fees run from almost $5,000 to nearly $50,000. These fees are essentially just assessed to keep the emergency room up and running and to evaluate and manage patients and they don’t even include the actual cost of medical treatment.
Costs of allergy tests
One of the first questions any medical provider asks is “are you allergic to any medications?” Healthcare providers cannot prescribe medicine or treat you safely unless they know about your allergies. Even just touching a patient without knowing their allergies can be dangerous – if a patient has a latex allergy, for example, the healthcare provider’s gloves may spark an allergic reaction.
Usually, healthcare providers can simply glance at a patient’s chart or ask them directly about their allergies, but if they’re dealing with an unconscious or unidentified patient, they need to take additional precautions to rule out allergies, including administering tests in the ER. Allergy tests vary in price. Skin tests cost $60 to $300, while blood tests run between $200 and $1,000.
One woman who wanted a full panel of allergy testing initially faced a $50,000 bill, which she ultimately cut in half after a time-consuming dispute with the provider, but even half or a quarter of this amount would be financially crippling for most people.
People who become sign up for ERinfo don’t have to worry about this issue. They can simply upload a list of their allergies to the app, and if they are ever found unconscious and without an ID, first responders can scan their face and instantly learn about their allergies.
Healthcare providers also need to understand your history so they can provide you with the appropriate level of treatment. Diagnostic tests range in price. A test that looks at your blood count may only cost about $50, while a blood test that assesses your liver and kidney function may be closer to $200. The hospital may also need to test for pre-existing conditions such as HIV and COVID-19, and these tests are often around $100. As more complicated equipment becomes involved, diagnostic costs climb. For instance, an EKG screening of the heart is only about $350, while an echocardiogram costs over $4,000.
Some diagnostic tests are critical for determining what happened as a result of the accident or trauma you have suffered, but if you are unidentified, hospital staff will need to do extra testing just to determine your pre-existing conditions before treatment. They have to do this to ensure they don’t offer any treatments that contradict your pre-existing conditions or medications.
These costs can be exorbitant. People dealing with emergencies and trauma don’t need the added stress of paying for unnecessary tests, and ERinfo shields patients from these costs. ERinfo members upload their photos so that they can easily be identified in any situation and they choose the medical history they want to share with healthcare providers.
Saving money, saving lives
ERinfo provides first responders and healthcare workers with critical information about you and your medical history. This information saves you money, but even more importantly, it can save your life. Knowing your pre-existing conditions, current medications, and allergies gives your healthcare team the information they need to treat you and to avoid administering unnecessary, expensive tests.
ERinfo removes the guesswork, reduces your costs, and helps you access better treatment. Ready to protect yourself and your loved ones in the event of an emergency? Then, sign up and become a member today.