Skip to comments.Cash-only doctors abandon the insurance system [and their prices are much, much lower]
Posted on 06/15/2013 6:25:26 PM PDT by grundle
"The paperwork, the hassles, it just got to be overwhelming," Nunamaker said. "We knew that we had to find a better way to practice."
So Nunamaker and his partner set up a membership-based practice called Atlas M.D. -- a nod to free-market champion Ayn Rand's book Atlas Shrugged.
By cutting out the middleman, Nunamaker said he can get a cholesterol test done for $3, versus the $90 the lab company he works with once billed to insurance carriers. An MRI can be had for $400, compared to a typical billed rate of $2,000 or more.
Nunamaker encourages his patients to carry some type of high-deductible health insurance plan in case of an emergency or serious illness. But for the everyday stuff, he said his plan works better for both doctor and patient.
"It would be like if car insurance paid for gas, oil and tires," he said. "It would be very expensive, and you'd have to get pre-approval for a trip out of town."
Kevin Petersen, a Las Vegas-based general surgeon, stopped taking insurance in 2005. Petersen named the same reasons as Nunamaker: too much paperwork and overhead, declining payments from insurance companies, and a general loss of control.
"The insurance industry took over my practice," he said. "They were telling me what procedures I could do, who I could treat -- I basically became their employee."
Now Petersen does hernia operations for $5,000 a pop, which includes anesthesia, operating room time and follow-up visits. He negotiates special rates for the anesthesiologist and the operating room, and is able to provide the service for about a third of what a patient might pay otherwise.
(Excerpt) Read more at money.cnn.com ...
This is great news. But I’m sure the government will soon step in to stop it.
I wish there were a national registry of some sort for these guys so we could find them more easily.
Optometrists and dentists, too.
I’m sure some FReeper could create a website for that!
Yes, leftists want this banned I bet
The benevolent dictators in Washington will put a stop to this.
My niece got a back MRI - after hours - for $350 in cash
The doctors need to start advertising so we know where to go to stay away from zerocare nuts.
Can anyone say why that is, and/or how the lab got away with it, and/or why the insurance companies don't do a better job of trying to keep prices down?
I thought collectivists loved choice!/s
If you take your car to a body shop to repair damage, the first thing asked is if it is insurance or self paid. Same reasoning.
Isn’t this how it used to be many years ago?
my thoughts, precisely!
I had a doctor tell me he couldn’t take cash patients. Apparently someone sued him on the grounds cash patients received better care.
Not me. As soon as there's a "registry", these guys will be in jail.
I'll stick to personal reference.
We go to a doc that works out of his house. Been going to him for about 3 years now. He charges by the minute. He told me an MRI shouldn’t cost more than a $150.
Yes. During WW2 there were wage controls put on by the fedgov, and companies began to offer "medical insurance" to employees as a way to increase compensation without violating the rules.
This was the beginning of severing the financial link between medical consumer and medical provider. The rest is history.
did you actually get one for that price? of a back?
The Brown Clown and his lackeys ( Pelosie, Reid, and all the other A$$hole self serving Socialists) won’t like that one bit.
Interesting. A MRI machine is a BIG capital investment but not a big operating cost. So the cost is highly related to how much of the capital cost you're paying with each scan.
HHS is already working on killing that sensible system, and the IRS will punish the Drs.
It’s how my Family did it back in the 50s.
Imagine paying Doc Brown with a chicken back when
I worked in a physician’s office right out of college. Nobody had insurance, everybody paid in cash or were billed. I worked in a two person office. . . the doctor and me. It was a very busy practice. We saw patients every 10 minutes and it cost $4.00 a visit.
Insurance was for catastrophic illness, hospital coverage, or emergency care.
My husband and I do not have dental or optical coverage. We knew when we retired that those were part of our personal yearly expenses.
It’s was somewhat of a rhetorical question since my parents (and theirs) did the same in the 20-50s/60s.
It would be interesting to see a financial analysis done, even the case where you had to borrow money (assuming you could) to pay the doc. What would the payment with interest be compared to various insurance premium rates (especially those apparently on the way).
No. He just said he knew what one should cost. Hates the insurance medicaid medicare fraud system. He is a hater but a good doctor. The wife and I went and had him do some tests and stuff. We priced them at the local clinic and they wanted $749 and he charged $178.
Kaiser started this, right?
Sounds like a good place to get a test done
Where? I've been looking and looking for an inexpensive MRI (I need one for my shoulder) and I can't find one for under $1,000. I'd fly somewhere to get one for that price!
Yes. I'm only 45, but even I can remember going to our doctor's house (in our same neighborhood) for vaccinations and routine care. The only other person there was his wife, who made hot tea and chatted with us at the kitchen table. I guarantee you, there were no insurance forms involved.
Elite liberals will keep it if it benefits them... if it benefits the people, they'll ban it.
If you put the doctors list in a super, secret, special place on the FR server accessible only to trusted FReepers the NSA will never find it!
It was here in Irving I think, hang on
In the 20s & 30s, that how Mom & Dad’s families did it, with a neighborhood doc. When they both went into US Army in early 40s in WWII - she as RN Lt and he in D-Day and Battle of The Bulge - they had real medical care. But civilians back home still used local docs and paid in-kind, or what they could. Barter plus a little cash worked. But we sure didn’t have the medical system overhead we do today.
Of course they do. It's not "fair" that Ubama's moochers have to dip into their welfare checks to pay for services from competent cash-only doctors.
I read on ZeroHedge or Market Ticker a while back that if you got the government out of health care the cost of it would drop about 86%.
TX? Kind of far from NH...but, maybe she has a tip for finding prices like that around here.
Dad said it was a mixture of goods, food, labor and some small amount of cash, if they had it. Docs didn’t charge interest back then. In the late-50s/60s onward, things were a lot more affluent, and it was insurance policy thru Dad’s Fortune 75 company, Allied Chemical.
My dentist still cleans and flosses teeth himself (no “hygenist” for him). And his receptionist doesn’t have a computer; appointments are still penciled into a big date book, and receipts are written out by hand on “ditto-style” paper. You pay up front and if you have insurance, it’s up to you to get their reimbursement. My 3 kids LOVE him. No fake cavities filled ($$) and no pressure for the “fad” of early braces ($$$$$$).
I will mourn the day he retires.
Well say they do 20 tests a day at $2000 a test and a machine costs $1 million. It is paid for pretty quick. But just to make sure a box of tissues is $50 and a couple of Tylenol are $10 apiece.
My niece doesn’t remember, even though it was late last year. wierd.
Anyway, I am pretty sure it was this place:
Like I said, my sister explained the situation (no insurance) about her daughter (17) and they offered to do this after regular hours for that price.
Maybe begging helps. lol.
No doubt in my mind. Of course, that's why They want to insert government even further into things.
I bet any under-30 FReepers reading what I've said on this thread are scratching their heads and worrying that I've been seeing "substandard" care providers. After all, how can doctors and patients negotiate prices themselves? It (i.e., the free market) is unheard of!
He is just doing GP stuff. So if I need my high blood pressure pills he charges me $20 for a phone in prescription and I send him a check. Don’t have to make the drive that would cost me $15 in gas. Don’t have to shell out $100 (at the clinic) to see a PA.
You will never get that service from Leviathan Care
Relax there my friend, cause and effect, cause and effect. This will be the norm in the not to distant future. Home grown, the way it’s always been.
Fed’s stop it? yeah, just like they’ll take all our guns.
My grandfather was a "country doctor". His "territory" was a small town in Oklahoma and the surrounding farms.
Initially, he served them from a horse and buggy -- forded a flooding river once to deliver a child.
That's what he did, he delivered babies, he cared for their childhood afflictions, he set their bones and mended their wounds, he saw their parents into old age and comforted them in their last hours.
He was compensated by eggs, fresh garden vegetables, live chickens, a cured ham, an occasional side of beef and, every now and then, some cash.
He was proud of his profession. And never complained about his lot.
Then he should have responded by treating ONLY cash patients.
Yes. Their in-house system became Kaiser Permanente.