Cost Comparison: Medical Care vs. Massage
by Lisa Poole on Monday, December 08, 2014
You wake up one day and “awwww damn” you can’t turn your head your neck is killing you.
Heat and OTC pain relievers all day.
Toss and turn all night and wake again unable to move head.
This goes on for a couple days when you give in and go to the doctor.
You call and get a 2pm appointment. You beg your boss to leave to go to the doctor. You leave at 1:30 arrive 10 min early, sit in waiting room for 20 minutes, then you are ushered into the exam room. You wait some more, after another 10 minutes the doc comes in.
You explain the situation he examines. Yup, you have a stiff neck, “Feels muscular.”
The Doc suggests muscle relaxers and physical therapy, gives you a script and referral.
The PT office is right in building so you walk over and make an appointment.
Off to pharmacy next.
You have lost 3 hours of work and spent $20 on your co-pay and $7 on the script. Two days later your neck is a little better due to drugs (you think) and you are off to your PT appointment. You made this one early so you only miss an hour of work.
$40 co-pay, a sheet with some exercise and another appointment. After another hour of missed work, later that week and other $40 things feel better finally, so you cancel the next appointment.
You have spent $107 and missed 5 hours of work.
Lucky for you, you have already met your deductible or the cost would have been so much more.
The average 15 min sick visit is $106, average PT assessment visit, $150 follow up visits $100 (Insurance covers a % of charges. You pay your copay, deductible and possibly coinsurance). If you had to pay full out of pocket and you got a cash discount you might have to pay $200-$300 for this scenario. **
My personal experience with insurance, doctors and physical therapy tell me nothing is free. Between our premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and copays it is very pricey to be sick or injured. The average family plan premium (2011 numbers) is about $15,000 per year. The employee pays $3-$4,000 of the $15,000. The average deductible is $1000 per person. The average coinsurance is 20% of paid services. The average copay for a PCP is $15-$25 and Specialist $30-$50. CHA-CHING!…**
My 1-hour massage is $70. That is hands-on work. Not sitting in the waiting room or having some PT watch you exercise. A package of 6 – 60 min massages runs you $330. A package of 6 – 30 min massages is $165. HSA cards can be used for massage so it is pre-tax dollars.
Massage is an affordable way to stay healthy when you compare cost. It is also very affordable in acute pain scenarios. I can give many examples of clients coming in with a neck, shoulder, low back issue. After a few weeks of consistent massage and doing their homework they see and feel a difference.
If you were to wake up with a stiff neck and make an appointment with me that day or next; within a couple sessions, you will feel much better.
Your out of pocket cost would be about the same. You also have the added benefit of some stress relief and NOT having to take medication (which can cause even more problems) thrown in.
Now just a little CYA on my part don’t call me if you have been in an accident and think I will fix ya right up please go see your Doctor for that. Massage is great for those muscular “issues in the tissues” but if you hear a loud pop from your knee as you bent down and can’t put any weight on it that is a Doctor moment for sure.
**information found online from several sites most based on 2010 and 2011 numbers.**