Olivia blinked and it was November. With her kids finally settled into their school and sports and drama practice routines, the mom of three finally felt like she could take a breath—and take care of herself.
She’d been dealing with persistent pain in her right ankle and foot for a while. Her podiatrist diagnosed her with posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, more commonly known as flatfoot. He prescribed over-the-counter anti-inflammatory meds, referred her to a physical therapist, and recommended she get an MRI to rule out anything more serious. Olivia followed his advice on the first two but worried the scan was beyond her budget. She’s not alone in that concern: Four in 10 U.S. adults have delayed or avoided seeking medical care because of the cost, according to KFF, a nonpartisan health policy research nonprofit.
Over the summer, though, the aching in Olivia’s foot expanded to her hips and knees. Her twice-a-week hikes with Mabel, the family’s border collie, weren’t so much fun as sufferfests. She realized it was time to reconsider her options.
Olivia took a closer look at Touchstone Medical Imaging, the outpatient medical imaging company her doctor had mentioned. It was in-network with her health insurance (in fact, it’s aligned with 99 percent of major health insurance plans) and, she discovered, offered its imaging services for up to 60 percent less than hospitals.
After her son’s broken arm and her husband’s allergy treatments, Olivia realized she was only a couple of hundred bucks from reaching her deductible. Plus, she had some money available through their Health Savings Account, or HSA, meaning her out-of-pocket contribution would likely be minimal if she squeezed in her MRI and any necessary treatment before her plan renewed at the start of the new year.
Touchstone is aware of the stress of paying for health care, which is why they strive to save patients money by offering cost-effective imaging options.
Cost wasn’t the only benefit Olivia discovered when she contacted Touchstone. With 11 metro Denver locations, it was easy to book an appointment near her Lakewood home. The office also had early morning, evening, and even weekend availability, which made it easy for Olivia to schedule something around her hectic calendar—and before her deductible went back to zero.
After the easy, 30 minute imaging scan, Olivia received an interactive, patient-friendly version of her imaging report that explains all the medical jargon and helps her feel educated on exactly what’s going on before she reconnects with her orthopedist the following week. “They have the chance to look at the report and digest it,” says Dr. John S. Xenos of Colorado Orthopedics, which refers to Touchstone. “Patients can come to me, and the level of discussion is much better because they already ready the report and have a little better understanding. The questions they ask are a little more advanced.”
Olivia’s scans revealed that she needs a tenosynovectomy, a procedure to clean and remove inflamed tissue around the tendon. She’ll have to wear a brace for a few weeks after the treatment, but within three months, she should be back to low-key walks with Mabel…and carting her kids around like before. If the pain ever returns, she knows Touchstone will be there to help—without breaking the bank.