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Unread 04-13-2009, 10:11 AM   #2
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Question How do I know if I'm paying too much?

How do I know if I'm paying too much?

Don't assume that because you were contacted that the physician is charging you a fair price. As with most purchases it pays to shop around.

In the United States most physicians in private practice are for-profit businesses. Our free enterprise system allows them to charge what they feel the market will bear and it is up to the individual physicians to accept or not accept private insurance. If you do have insurance, many companies will allow you to submit the claim yourself for direct reimbursement. If your plan covers behavioral health conditions demand they pay your claim. Some insurance companies still feel that they can discriminate against people with addictive disorders. Most states have laws requiring insurance plans to cover addiction treatment. HBO addressed this in their documentary “Addiction” and provides some resources.

Patients should shop around to be sure they are receiving reasonable value for the money they are spending. Prices for in-office opioid addiction treatment with buprenorphine range from $75 initial visit plus $60/monthly follow-up visit, to $2,500 and $300-$500/month. The average seems to be $200- $400 for the initial induction visit and $100-$250/month for follow-up visits. The average daily dose of 16mgs costs about $12/day, but that can vary too. Location and density of certified physicians can affect price too. Physicians may offer additional services and programs that will make direct price comparisons difficult. Also consider different patients will require different levels of care and expertise.

Many physicians who get into addiction treatment have been personally touched by addiction in some way. The majority really wants to help and don’t want to overcharge. Like with anything else, there are people out there more interested in the profit and an educated consumer is the best defense. This is where friends and family can really help. Employing the help of friend or family member can be a great asset. When someone is ready to seek treatment, the last thing they want to do is engage in a stressful negotiation, they just want help.

Although economics is important, remember that seeking addiction treatment is a lifesaving decision and in the scope of things any price is ultimately worth it. Nonetheless there is no reason to pay more than you have to. Shop around, interview and compare, but don’t let that delay treatment, starting treatment, and then looking for a better value, is a prudent strategy.


Important disclaimer: Any information in this post is not and does not constitute medical advice under any circumstances. Addiction Survivors, Inc. does not warranty or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy or currency of the information contained in or linked to the Site. Your use of information on the Site or materials linked to the Site is entirely at your own risk. Voluntary Disclosure: Timothy L. is the President of The National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine treatment. ( The views and opinions of Timothy L., or any poster, are not necessarily the views of NEVER take any online advice over that of a qualified healthcare provider Any information you read here should only serve to inspire you to investigate further with credible, verifiable referenced sources or your doctor.
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