"The upside for the patient is they're going to get really excellent care," explained Barb Gonzalez, Senior Clinical Educator at the Delta Dental Clinic. "The detail our students give our patients is fantastic. The offset is, it takes them more time, so the appointments last a lot longer."
The secret to the low cost, said Gonzalez with a grin, "Student Labor. You know, makes a difference. You know, that's part of their educational process."
On another part of the Wichita State campus, at 29th and Oliver, sits the Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic.
Twice a year, it offers free screenings. You can find out if your child, or parent, chooses not to hear you -- or really can't hear you.
That free clinic saves $100, and possibly your sanity. It is also run by students, who will take their time - because it's their grade.
"You've got state of the art equipment," said Lara Dilillo, "because we are training the future of that profession, and the benefits of a lot of time spent, and making sure things are done well."
The clinic has state-of-the-art equipment, and with an array of students available to help patients, appointments last from 30 minutes to hours.
But sometimes you don't have to go to a college campus - sometimes those college students come to you. On Saturdays, KU Med Students work the Guadalupe Clinic at 940 S. St. Francis. The students are supervised by a doctor, of course.
During the week, the Guadalupe Clinic offers medical care strictly to people who do not have insurance. It asks for a five dollar donation, if you can afford it. If you qualify for state and federal aid, you can also sign up for that at the Clinic.
Another option to help you save - a little piece of paper offered by 36 Kansas counties. "It's very easy to use, a lot of people feel like it's too good to be true, but it's not," explained Rachelle Moody of Sedgwick County Health and Human Services.
The free prescription discount card can save anywhere from 20% to 50% on your prescription. "The card is good for people who don't have any health insurance," said Moody, "or they have health insurance, but for some reason, not all of their prescriptions are covered."
This card also covers pet medicine that you can obtain at a human pharmacy.
You've heard the adage an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? For Pharmacist Adam Wheeler, it's more like a $25 shot is worth thousands in savings. "The biggest cost saver is preventative medicine," he said, "that's going to save them the most money in the long run."
He used the example of shingles. "Any time you get a case of the shingles, that's going to cost you $5,000 to $10,000, just in medical bills, visits to the doctor, medication."
So if you're willing to put your health in the hands of college students, or carry around a paper card, or maybe pay a little money now, there are ways to keep you, and your bank account, healthy.
- Google The Name of Your Prescription Drug and Discount. Sometimes there will be a coupon on the drug's webpage.
- Ask your Doctor for discounts. S/He may have a discount, coupon, or free sample for you to use.
- Consider having a higher insurance deductible. It will reduce your premiums.
- If necessary, you may be able to cut back, or eliminate, your dental insurance.
- Work Out. Check your nearest community center for exercise classes.
- Eat Well. Ask your local extension office if it has a farmer's market during the growing season.