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Making the Most of Your Health Care Dollar

In today’s economy, people may be tempted to give up preventive screenings due to lack of funds, but skimping on wellness exams today could mean higher costs in the future.

The recent rise in unemployment has brought with it reductions in health insurance coverage for many. A lack of health insurance can deter people from scheduling primary care appointments. Even when coverage continues, many adults are tempted to disregard their need for preventive health to avoid steep co-payments.

As a result, routine preventive care that could lead to the early management of serious diseases — such as diabetes and cardiovascular problems — is now being put on the back burner due to cost.

“Preventive exams and screenings, such as those for breast and colon cancer, help find problems early in the disease process and increase the chances of survival,” says Yama Amin, M.D., vice chair of Emergency Medicine at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital. “Treating conditions early with a primary care provider is also much cheaper than dealing with the costs of future hospitalizations and Emergency Department visits.”

Amin also suggests that routine elective procedures, such as gallbladder removal or hernia repair, be performed early, potentially saving patients from more expensive procedures and discomfort down the road.

To find a physician at a Texas Health hospital, visit TexasHealth.org/findaphysician or call 1-877-THR-WELL (1-877-847-9355).

(Fall/Winter 2009)

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