It’s been 7 weeks since I updated our blog last about my testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). The treatments have been going great, but after 17 weeks driving to a clinic 15 miles away every week has become a headache. It also cost a lot to go to an office consultation once a week, gas and co-pays add up. In case you didn’t read it in previous articles, my treatment involves two shots, one 220 mg Testosterone Cypionate and the other 50 I.U.s of HCG weekly.
Cost of Weekly Office Injections Versus Home Injections
Depending on your insurance office visits could be free, or $40 a visit like mine. For me, this means spending $160 a month on office visits. These visits sometimes encompassed drawing blood, always included the Testosterone Cypionate and HCG injections, and typically included a one to two minute consultation.
Are these visits worth $40 a week? I don’t think so, but if it didn’t include the consultation then likely I wouldn’t be paying for the office visit with the doctor. The presence of the doctor justifies the office copay with my insurance. Simply getting the injection alone doesn’t warrant the office fee. Oddly, getting the Testosterone Cypionate (Test) without the office visit doesn’t seem to be covered either, looking at you Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Compared to the home injections, I was spending a small fortune on office visits. At Reliable RX Pharmacy, an online pharmacy, HCG is about $50 for 2 months at my dosage. Vials, clean water and syringe supplies from West End Medical are an additional $50 for 2 months, and the Test from CVS is $28. For a 2 months supply, that’s $128 instead of $320 over 2 months. A $100 per month savings.
Why Do Men’s Clinics Cost so Much?
The biggest reason is the convenience. Just like everything you are going to pay more for convenience. These clinics are focused on men’s testosterone. While other doctors will disregard your low testosterone levels, opting instead to target diet, sleep, and exercise, as treatments plans, these clinics offer a simpler path to TRT.
That convenience comes at a cost. They know TRT works, and they know if you are inquiring then you’ve probably heard about the positive effects and are ready to experience them for yourself. If you have significantly low testosterone, diet and better sleep aren’t going to fix that. How much is feeling like the best you worth to you?
These men’s clinics use a business model that relies on regular office visits over time. To keep feeling like the best you, they need you to consistently come in weekly or even bi-weekly. This consistency is good for you and of course, their bottom line. While these clinics are good at evaluating and treating testosterone deficiencies, I will give them credit for that, their business model is set up to benefit them not you. Eventually, once your levels are stable, you will have to move your treatments to a regular doctor.
Once You’re Stable, Stay With The Clinic or Self Inject?
When your levels are stable it is probably time to start looking into home injections, unless you prefer going to the clinic. If you have good insurance with little or no-co pays, your clinic is close to home, and the idea of sticking yourself with a needle makes you queasy, then maybe staying is a good option. If not, then you will need to get a prescription for Test. If the clinic will not prescribe then you will need to find a new primary care doctor (PCP) who will.
To get your TRT moved to a PCP from the men’s clinic you will need to get all of your shot records, labs, and diagnosis paperwork. You will also need to have the conversation with your clinic. I did this two weeks ago when I began questioning the need for a weekly meetup at the clinic versus home injecting. I asked if I could also have the aforementioned records for my own personal safekeeping. This is where it got really uncomfortable.
More on that next post.