THIS is the real answer to unaffordable healthcare. Get the government-mandated monopolies out of it at all levels!
DOCTORS DUMP HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS, CHARGE PATIENTS LESS
WICHITA, Kan., June 14 (UPI) —
A Kansas physician says he makes the same income and offers better quality care to his patients after he dumped all health insurance companies.
Thirty-two-year old family physician Doug Nunamaker of Wichita, Kan., said after five years of dealing with the red tape of health insurance companies and the high overhead for the staff he hired just to deal with paperwork, he switched to a system of charging his patients a monthly fee plus the price of an office visit or test, CNN/Money reported.
For example, under Nunamaker’s membership plan — also known as “concierge” medicine or “direct primary care” practices — each patient pays a flat monthly fee to have unlimited access to the doctors and any medical service they can provide in the practice, such as stitches or an EKG.
For adults up to age 44, Nunamaker charges $50 a month, pediatric services are $10 a month, and for adults age 44 and older it costs $100 a month. Although Nunamaker calls the practice “cash-only,” he accepts credit and debit cards for the fees and services.
Nunamaker and his partner negotiated deals for services outside the office. A cholesterol test costs the patient for $3, versus the $90 or more billed to insurance companies; an MRI can cost $400, compared with $2,000 or more billed to insurance companies.
The practice encourages patients and families to also carry some type of high-deductible health insurance plan in case of an emergency or serious illness requiring hospitalization, Nunamaker said.
Nunamaker said his annual salary is around $200,000, and he gets to spend more time with patients providing better care because he is not watching the clock and he gets to spend more time with this family.
Most of Nunamaker’s clients are self-employed, small business owners, or small companies that found the monthly fee and the cost of the high-deductible plan was a cheaper option, CNN/Money reported.
FedUpUSA has been saying this for more than 3 years. The reason our healthcare costs are so outrageous is not because the procedures cost more (they don’t; costs in real terms are really coming down in price as new technologies are developed), but because the government has created and is now protecting massive behemoth monopolies in the insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry and the medical device industry. Congress has written laws that protect these industries’ price fixing ability. Price fixing is illegal in all other sectors of our economy, with the exception of these specifically, government-protected industries. Together, they have caused the price of healthcare for Americans to rise exponentially. The so-called Affordable Healthcare Act merely compounded and exacerbated this by mandating further monopoly protections for these industries and forcing everyone to participate, thereby expanding the pool of money from which to draw. This, of course, will only push prices of healthcare higher!
The answer to all our problems in healthcare is to stop participating with the monopolies, but it has to start with the doctors and the patients themselves. Seek out and find a doctor who has ‘opted out’ and find out what the real cost of healthcare is! Our family has done just that. We see a doctor who opted out 5 years ago. We pay less for a visit to the doctor, with testing and treatments included, than we pay for our co-pay using our ‘Cadillac’ health insurance! If the majority of doctors in this country opted out, the price of healthcare services would be about 1/10th of what they are now. This would make healthcare affordable to all but the most extreme indigent in our society and those people could be helped through charity and altruistic endeavors. We could then go back to insurance being necessary for nothing but catastrophic care, the cost of which would be a few hundred dollars per year, just like it was back in the 1960s and 70s.