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Local hospitals see spike in visits as the new year approaches

With the end of the year just around the corner, Idahoans with money left in their flex spending accounts are rushing to use it on medical expenses.

“In the fourth quarter volume from a surgical standpoint increases about 25 percent,” said Josh Tolman, the Chief Administrative Officer for Mountain View Hospital. “December in particular, compared to the rest of the year, is probably up more on the magnitude to 30 to 35 percent.”

Tolman says besides surgeries, labor and delivery, prescription refills, and screenings all see a bump in appointments and users. “People have met their deductibles already for the year and they want to get whatever benefit they can once their deductible’s been met,” said Tolman.

While it’s a little late to get appointments for care that entails bigger medical expenses, Tolman says there are still a few things people can do last-minute to make the most of their flex spending dollars and insurance claims.

“Getting physicals, getting preventative screenings done for cancer,” said Tolman. “A lot of people put off six-month checkups for dental work, that’s a good thing to do. Vision is a good place to use it as well.”

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