NO MORE INSURANCE – Doctors moving to cash-only model and they LOVE IT…

Now this is the type of innovation that excites me. These cash-only doctors have moved to a membership-based model that allows them to provide higher quality care at much lower costs and they don’t have to deal with insurance companies any longer. This sounds fantastic:

FOX 8 – Fed up with declining payments and rising red tape, a small but growing number of doctors are opting out of the insurance system completely. They’re expecting patients to pony up with cash.

Some doctors who have gone that route love it, saying they can spend more time with and provide higher-quality care to their patients. Health advocates are skeptical, worrying that only the wealthy will benefit from this system.

In Wichita, Kansas, 32-year old family physician Doug Nunamaker switched to a cash-only basis in 2010 after taking insurance for five years. (“Cash-only” is a loose description. Nunamaker accepts payment by debit or credit card too.)

Under the traditional health insurance system, a large staff was required just to navigate all the paperwork, he said. That resulted in high overhead, forcing doctors like Nunamaker to take on more patients to cover costs. Plus, the amount insurance companies were willing to pay for procedures was declining, leading to a vicious cycle.

“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. Under the membership plan — also known as “concierge” medicine — each patient pays a flat monthly fee to have unlimited access to the doctors and any service they can provide in the office, such as EKGs or stitches.

The fee varies depending on age. For kids, it’s $10 a month. For adults up to age 44, it’s $50 a month. Senior citizens pay $100.

The office has negotiated deals for services outside the office. 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.

Nunamaker now has a patient list totaling 400 to 600, compared to the 2,500 to 4,000 he said a typical family physician usually maintains. He’s quite happy with his annual salary of around $200,000.

“My professional life is better than expected, my family life and personal time is better than expected,” he said. “This is everything I wanted out of family medicine.”

It’s believed that only a small number of doctors have switched to a cash-only model. The American Academy of Family Physicians said about 4% of respondents to a 2012 survey reported taking only cash, up from 3% in 2010. A Medscape survey found 6% of physicians in the cash-only business in 2013, up from 4% in 2012.

Most are primary care doctors, though not all.


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  • stage9

    So 45 is considered a “senior citizen”?
    I wonder how long before the feds step in and put an end to this free market, unregulated, overtaxed fiasco.

    • stage9

      Correction: UNDERtaxed….

  • This is great.  I remember when I had no insurance when I had my son, I asked the doctors if I could do a cash payment plan, and they were happy to do it.  I ended up paying less in the long run, and they were flexible allowing me to pay what I could per month.
    I have to say with this though, as with anything that is good for everyone concerned, the feds will come in and screw it up.

    • stage9

      AmericanborninCanada Of COURSE! If it isn’t screwed up by the feds, it’s not American.

  • The Sentinel

    This is brilliant!
    Screw Obamacare and insurance companies. This is the best thing to come out of Obamacare ever!

  • sDee

    We have done this year to figure it all out while we still have insurance.
    We got complete checkups with cash-only  integrative medicine physician, including  blood work beyond what insurance covers. Now off most prescription meds. All for less than 2 months health insurance premiums. Best of all – NO ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS.

  • Orangeone

    We have 1 in MN too.  Relative, who is a specialist, is considering the same thing.  As more primary docs move, the specialists will too.

  • Orangeone

    I’m sure these docs are on it but it is also an easy way to get rid of unions.  Point out to employees the cost of unions through their dues and they’ll be totally ok with it.

  • Longiron

    This will be the future of healthcare especially in 2014 when Obamacare starts to kick in. The Drones have yet to realize that the lowest Obamacare policy will cost them at least 20K/year. When they do all HELL will break loose. What is not being said or told is another avenue of healthcare is the Specialists are starting hospitals off shore and will be providing surgical services at about 1/4 cost of the US. Follow up care provided locally by a network of MD’s all in the program. Next phase will be these off shore networks having their own Insurance coverage. This is just the start UNLESS this country totally repeals BarryCare. Look at the VA System and you will see the future of US healthcare. We were once the best healthcare provider in the world and it will go straight to hell in 2014. This is what you voted for in 2012. Lets run another RINO, moderate PUB to really screw this mess up ????

  • NJFred

    This is such “the American way”! Health care
    is a commodity, not a right. Sadly, our micro
    managing, intrusive government will have to
    find a way to get their fingers into this… for
    our own good/protection, of course…

  • sDee

    This topic came up at a healthcare conference  for business conference recently that my son attended. A panel “expert” from a DC think tank observed that most doctors are in debt significantly ($400K+)  coming out of med school, so the government (who now holds most of that debt) has “leverage” over them.
    Expect us taxpayers to be soon be paying off their loans so the doctors can be forced to doing the bidding of Central Government..
    One of the first casualties of Obamacare were the targeted cancellation of Doctor’s hospitals.  The big University and regional hospitals are rapidly consolidating into monopolies aligned with the Central Government regulators.

    • E Lee Zimmerman

      sDee Precisely.  Once these doctors are part of Obamacare, then they’ll be awarded the next big bailout.

  • DavidSnyder

    In my debates I’ve gotten into with liberals this is ultimately were I try to steer the argument.  The fact is, since Health Insurance somehow became the primary means of payment, the relation between cost and care became divorced and  costs in turn skyrocketed.  That in turn opened the door for Obamacare and the perceived “need” for it.  To me it seems that Obamacare is running deeper into the fire than out of it.
    What I don’t know, is how did we get to that? How and why did we devolve into a system where Heath Insurance became a primary means of payment of heath services?

    • WordsFailMe

      DavidSnyder That’s a good point. I think the devolving was supported by the federal government’s extensive “payroll withholding plans. Americans are more like to buy insurance and join unions when they do not have to literally take money out of their pocket or write a check each month. Payroll withholding is like “hypnotism.”
      Can you imagine what the government would be like if payroll withholding were out lawed and the every citizen need to write a check each mon th? Would their be more attention to what government does with the money? What if you had to write a check to the city or county or state each month? 
      Payroll withholding is the primary weapon of American tyranny.’

    • E Lee Zimmerman

      DavidSnyder Methinks this happened when employers began providing healthcare coverage (aka insurance) to employees as a benefit.  What this did — so far as the U.S. government is concerned — is that it practically screamed for them to get more directly involved with the administration of healthcare services so that they could fulfill what they perceive as their role to protect “we, the people” from charlatans who could be trying to profit in supplying us — the real “we, the people” — with healthcare.  (I won’t even touch on how the government tried and considered every method available to tax us for insurance b/c they believe it’s a form of income.)

      What this did necessarily is that it caused the entire healthcare industry to fall under the scope of government standards and regulation.  Medicare was expanded to the point that it became the ‘guidepost’ for all insurance programs, and now Medicare sets a standard reimburseable (sp?) for what insurance companies can and should (but not necessarily ‘will’) be paid for Service A.

      As an example, let’s say you go to the doctor b/c you have a cough.  The doctor will diagnose the cough to be, say, the common cold; and the doctor must code that visit along the lines of the medical services he supplied you with.  Let’s call it a Standard Visit.  Let’s say that the doctor charges $100 for that Standard Visit.  Well, the government sets rates to justify what they believe that your doctor should be paid for a Standard Visit, and let’s say that the govt has determined it should be $50 (it’s a very complex system so let’s just agree to that rate).  This means that the dr will receive $50 from Medicare or some similar payment from private insurance companies (again, it’s a complicated system, but they all basically involve Medicare reimbursement rates in some way, shape, or form), and, under the terms of the contract, the dr must write-off the remainder of his or her fee.

      Healthcare providers write-off far more than they actually profit from providing this service, so, in order to attempt to get a better reimbursement rate, they must necessarily raise their prices.  So let’s say next year your doctor charges $110 for the same visit; next year, Medicare rates may go from $50 to $52 for the service — and you can see where this gets us.

      I’ve been in healthcare billing for about 12 years, so I’m basing my explanation on a whole wealth of experience.  I could go on and on and on about how it all works (and even on and on and on about the problems inherent within the system as it’s designed), but I hope that gives you the basics.

  • joyfulgiver

    No time to read right now, but I thought I would share our story. We are members of  Samaritan Health Sharing Ministry.  Our monthly payment goes directly to another member in need that we have been assigned to share with.  We share one anothers burdens which is biblical.  My husband has been to the doctor a few times and the doctor only charges him half of what they bill the insurance company for.  The doctor is making more money this way because the insurance company only pays him half of what we pay.  For our famiy of three we pay only $355 per month and we know when we have a financial medical need others in the ministry will be helping us, too! If you are a Christian and you want to get yourself out from under government health care, this is a great option.

    • Longiron

      joyfulgiver Have not heard of this before, good idea and many more will follow because of BarryCare.

  • E Lee Zimmerman

    Yes, this is an interesting model, but here’s where it’ll only further help erode our health care industry: when the doctor requires additional services in order to make a complete diagnosis (say an MRI or something), he’ll have to then engage the patient’s insurance program — then the patient’s coverage can default because they’ve participating in health services out-of-network (as I understand has been spelled out to insurance companies in the Obamacare legislation).  Now, the patient will have no choice but to turn (once more) to the government for government-supplied healthcare.

    So, yes, it is a grand idea so long as it doesn’t lead to any diagnostic services outside of this physician’s scope of influence.

  • DHardy

    What I don’t understand is Why Americans are attacking Insurance companies…The issues are not with the high cost of Insurance it’s the High Costs of Medical care and durable medical supplies. Anyone that has taken care of a disable loved one knows the cost are outrages and without insurance your toast….I had a kidney stone blasted last year it cost 27000,00..(27 Thousand dollars) it was an outpatient procedure takes about 2 hrs and most is just waiting and doing paperwork…I have had two out patient surgeries that cost over 60 thousand….I’m just saying if I stayed with the same insurance and continued paying my premium I would live long enough to ever pay that back…the cost of health care has to come down it’s outrages and unacceptable

    • E Lee Zimmerman

      DHardy That’s a chicken v. egg argument.  The reason those prices have had to go up and up and up is precisely because of government intervention into the healthcare industry.  If they government hadn’t meddled with it decades ago, then we wouldn’t be where we are today.

      • PhillyCon

        E Lee Zimmerman DHardy Both of you are correct.  Notice, Obama and company make insurance companies out to be the bogey man (along with those “overpaid” doctors).  
        They never mention why the costs are so high.  Mandates from the government and a “must see everyone” policy for the ER.  Who do you think absorbs those costs?  We do through higher premiums.

    • PhillyCon

      DHardy I agree with you.  The insurance companies were deliberately attacked by Biden and Pelosi during the Obamacare debate.  They however, didn’t help themselves by fighting this bill though.  They laid down along with everyone else who did not want to be demonized as “standing in the way” of “healthcare reform.”  No one wanted to be that villan.  Ask Liberman, Stupak, the AMA, etc.

  • poorhardworker

    It’s about time they caught on!!!  As a single mother scraping by I could only afford catastrophic insurance….so office visits were not covered.  I have been going to a chiropractor for over 30 years…and I told him at the outset I did not have coverage for his services…and he was OVERJOYED!!!  “Great!…since I don’t have to deal with insurance you only have to pay less than half what I normally charge!”  He has not changed the price I pay thorough all those years.  I did finally get a job that provided insurance.  Then after I retired I got the same catastrophic coverage.  Just a couple of years ago I was referred to a medical doctor…and I explained that I did not have insurance…but would pay him cash…an immediate reduction in his fees!

  • Stehekin912

    Seems to me the health advocates should not care about this system, after all, they got the ThatGuy care they were so overjoyed about and shoved down everyone’s throat.
    “Cash” would be good if they are willing to make short or reasonable payment arrangements for higher-cost care or families.

  • toongoon

    Working in medical office management, I have had doctors tell me that they stopped taking insurance years ago. One told me that even the Cadillac Blue Cross Blue Shield will be cutting it’s payments by the end of the year. Another told me that he has been more successful since he started allowing his patients to deal with their own insurance company.

  • Conservative_Hippie

    This awesome, I hope it catches own!

    • toongoon

      I’m sure its in the health care law.

  • jollyjellybean

    How long till the commies outlaw this activity?

    • PhillyCon

      jollyjellybean HHS won’t let this go on too long.

  • nibblesyble

    I am with you Scoop…this is exciting and oh so simple. I loved it!

  • freeperjim

    Sounds like another “terrorist” plot to eliminate obamatollah’s government from our lives.

  • Laurel A

    This is the way to go. the first doc to do this of course the government tried to stop him saying he was selling insurance. Cut out the middle man and you cut expenses which cuts costs.

  • Laurel A

    I clicked on the link and read the full article and I wonder about the logic of some people. The woman was concerned that they would only cater to wealthy and not the middle class or poor. HUH?! Considering the cost of health insurance I would think this would be more helpful to middle class and poor than anything else. As these practices crop up more and more people would be smart to negotiate with their employers about more money in lieu of health insurance. If the country were to move back to this model of heath care the impact would be profound.

    • deTocqueville1

      Laurel A Exactly Laurel.

    • salty walty

      Laurel A It will be interesting to see what happens with health care in the future. if the dems get the house in 2014, Obamacare implementation will happen quickly. This will result in the collapse of our current health insurance system. Once this happens, we will move back to the more traditional cash / pay as you go system. However, it will get ugly for a while.

      • Laurel A

        salty walty Laurel A No we won’t. People will go all in because they aren’t going to pay for something they can’t use.

  • OliviaHT

    Well, it’s about time. It was the WWII introduction of employer paid health insurance benefits  — implemented as inducement to hiring quality people after the feds had forced wage controls on businesses — that initiated this widespread third-party entity into the system that over time created skyrocketing health care costs.
    Never, ever, separate the buyer of services from the point of sale; doing so creates all manner of incentives for consumers remaining ignorant as to actual costs of services; it also gets the state involved as regulators of the insurance market, thus enabling it to carve out special favors to preferred cronies, mandating coverage of all sorts of treatments and procedures that providers MUST offer: A redistributionists dream come true.

    • amyshulk

      OliviaHT Oh good, you beat me to it!

  • kong1967

    The problem is that we will still be required to carry insurance and that insurance has minimum Obamacare standards to meet.  When you have to pay both the monthly fee to the doctor (to be a member) plus the insurance premium to satisfy Obamacare and for possible serious illness, it would run into a rather expensive way to go about it….especially for someone who rarely ever goes to the doctor.  How do you apply unlimited access to the doctor with a monthly fee to your deductible with your regular insurance?  If you do suddenly take ill, you’ve paid a lot of money towards a doctor for membership that doesn’t get applied to your deductible with your regular insurance.  That will cost extra money because it takes longer for your deductible to kick in.
    If you go to the doctor a lot, it might be cheaper to just have regular insurance because once you meet the deductible the major payouts kick into effect.  If you don’t go a lot, you’re paying a lot of money for minimal care (because you don’t need it).  
    Not bashing the idea.  Just curious how it would be worth it for the patient.

  • tinlizzieowner

     “I also get discounts approaching 80%”.
    Speaking of ‘discounts’. Several years ago I had what felt like a bad case of indigestion. On a hunch, I took 2 aspirin, the symptoms quickly went away (aspirin doesn’t cure indigestion). I drove myself to the nearest emergency room, (as I am instructed to do by the VA, in an emergency) I’d had a minor heart attack. I told this hospital I was a Viet Nam Vet and that the VA was my ‘health care insurance’. I was shipped to the nearest VA hospital and a stent was put in one of my arteries. I got a bill from the (emergency room) hospital for $15,000. I reminded the hospital that the VA WAS my health insurance, send THEM the bill, which they eventually did. Come to find out later (through the VA) that this hospital gave the VA an 80% discount and they (the VA) had paid the (now $4,000) Bill.

    • Rshill7

      tinlizzieowner Rshill7 
      I’m glad you survived it. Not surprised they didn’t raise the fee by 80% to a governmental agency

      • tinlizzieowner

        This kind of stuff happens all the time. If you have private insurance, the hospitals will inflate the bill as much as they can to offset the costs of the ‘dead beats’ who have no insurance and the costs of fighting with insurance company lawyers to get paid what they actually deserve.
        They won’t waste the time fighting with the (government) VA anymore than they will waste their time fighting with ‘Obamacare’. 
        Who looses in the end? You, me, the doctors and the hospitals. 🙁
        What nobody is talking about (yet) is that I will bet that somewhere in the 6 foot tall ‘Obamacare’ bill, (that Nancy Pelosi aid we have to pass to see what’s in it), there’s also a provision to force the VA hospitals to treat non-Vets. It’s only logical to conclude that in order for ‘Obamacare’ to work at all, it’s likely it will require the Veteran’s Hospitals to treat non-Vets to offset the doctors and private hospitals that are now beginning to refuse to treat medicare, medicaid, and ‘dead beat’ patients, because they can’t afford it. 🙁

      • 1tootall

        tinlizzieowner Rshill7 As a past president of a hospital in So. California, I can assure you this doesn’t happen “all the time”.  Some administrations will make special arrangements, but the big 800 elephant in the room are indigent patients, not cash paying patients.  And as we inch closer to the implementation of Obamacare, no one will recognize our health delivery system after a few years.  It’s all very sad, and for our seniors, its sad.

      • Rshill7

        tinlizzieowner Rshill7 
        I was in the Navy for a short stint, but was honorably discharged for private reasons. My dear old Daddy though was career military, then another career with a defense systems manufacturer.
        He goes to the nearest VA hospital when he needs to, so, I hope your hypothesis is way off, but look for no improvements anywhere, with regards to Obamacare. I think it will fall of it’s own weight, arrogant overreach, and commie stupidity.
        People from many walks of life will demand it…and congress, if we still even have a congress, might listen.

      • tinlizzieowner

        As a past president of a hospital board in So. California, I can assure you this doesn’t happen “all the time”. 

        I’ll rephrase my statement. It seems to happen to me all the time with the only hospital within 20 miles of me. This was only one incident, there have been others.
        The nearest VA hospital to me, is a 2 hour ride.

      • tinlizzieowner

         “He goes to the nearest VA hospital when he needs to, so, I hope your hypothesis is way off”.
        The Obama administration has been quietly cutting the VA hospital staff for years (except for the VA staff working for the unions, that is).
        😉 😉

  • lonestar1

    As a kid, our doctor visits were cash.  The doctor would give people a claim form they could complete and send to their insurance for re-imbursement.  The dentist was the same way.  Worked fine. The practicians spent their time seeing patients not completing forms.

    • deTocqueville1

      lonestar1 Yes indeed and the simplicity is way to uncomplicated for progressives and their meddling ways.

  • This idea works fine for office visits, but the real problems begin if you have to go to a hospital, especially for an operation. In the old days back in the early 1980s, most people just had major medical insurance to cover the big problems and then paid cash at the doctor’s office. I guess they got rid of this system because it was too simple. I hope we’re heading back to that type of arrangement. If not, the only other option is single-payer socialized medicine, which is what Obama and the liberals are yearning for.

  • JoelDick

    How long until Dr. Nunamaker is audited for tax fraud and locked up forever?

    • 1RandiStarr

      JoelDick Why I know several who went private starting 10 years ago.

    • Dr. Strangelove

      JoelDick If the leftoids read RS, it could be soon.

  • 1tootall

    Great move.  Wait until the IRS takes over administration of health in the US.  I’m guessing this aint gonna fly for long.

    • Dr. Strangelove

      1tootall Yeah. Wait ’til 0 takes over everything. Ain’t nothin’ gonna fly then.

  • deTocqueville1

    This may be the new model for health care delivery, breaking the cartel of  ‘Big Pharma and Big Insurence’.

  • lawngreen

    “Some doctors who have gone that route love it, saying they can spend
    more time with … their patients.”
    I guess they can. Far fewer patients. Who can afford to pay cash for medical treatment? I don’t have the cash for anything more than an occasional bout with flu. Who needs obamacare? Cashcare is so much more effective at the same goals – less treatments and death panels without blame.
    I’m not digging into this, so I’m probably assuming things that aren’t true.

    • searcher0

      lawngreen if you have a wife and two kids under his fee you pay $120 how much would you pay for conventional insurence?

      • lawngreen

        searcher0You did see, however, that this is general medical stuff for the most
        part, and he recommends carrying insurance for the big-ticket items?
        Yes, Nunamkaer’s plan may help, if for example you need several expensive procedures such as the EKG listed, but not
        if you only have “ordinary” medical expenses. For me, getting insurance
        for catastrophic illness is backbreaking, whereas in the last twenty
        years I doubt that I’ve spent $1,000 on “normal” stuff. In that 20
        years, at $100/month = $1200/year, I’d have paid the good doctor $24000.
        More than that, actually. 20 years ago I wouldn’t have been considered a senior citizen. It’s not a concern for the patient you’re seeing here, it’s a concern for freeing the doctor from red tape, which is a good thing, but he’s not doing anyone any favors. He’s raking in a bundle of patients’ money while posing as the patient’s best friend. Just like any politician.

        • searcher0

          lawngreen searcher0 it is still better than obamacare, it has been estimated that the cheapest plan on his insurance exchanges will cost that $24,000 in one year as  opposed to paying that in 20.

        • lawngreen

          searcher0 Which is why I won’t buy it. Let them fine me. $24K/year is more than my annual net income. If the future looks too bleak, I’ll retire. Then what will obamacare charge me? (I know; no one knows yet.)
          Impossibilities are impossibilities. For me and many other Americans, obamacare is an impossibility. I don’t know if that’s actually sunk into too many minds yet. obama loves it, because destruction of America is his primary goal in life. The Tweedledums on the Left haven’t figured out yet that he doesn’t love them any more than he loves the Right. obama loves obama.
          Fortunately for my dependents, I have no dependents. Not even a goldfish. If I survive, fine. If not, that’s fine too. I’m a Christian. If I die, I go to Heaven. Dying may not be pleasant, but death is no problem.

  • This sounds great, but where does insurance for critical maintenance prescriptions fit in?

    • searcher0

      OnTheMark that is why he suggest to his patients that they have catostophic coverage insurance with a high deductable.

      • searcher0 Catastrophic coverage is called that because it is not for routine (non-catastrophic) expenses like maintenance medications.

        • searcher0

          OnTheMark searcher0  i am quite sure that this Dr. is a general practitioner and does not deal with critical maintenance medication which is handled by a specialist. so if you are this kind of a patient than this Dr. is not for you. if you need this kind of medication than you go out and buy the insurance that you need.

  • wtd

    Quote:  “Most are primary care doctors, though not all.”
    And there lies the rub.  With the pre-ObamaCare system,  an ear infection, sore throat,  allergies, minor tummy issue, fever, rash MIGHT be treated by current  primary care physician.  But anything that wasn’t simple and clear cut would immediately be referred out to a specialist.  
    How many of you have visited one of the many 24 hour ‘urgent care’ centers- only to be referred out for x-rays, stitches, and then referred again to a specialist?   What was once treated in a family physicians office (prior to late ’80’s) has become increasingly far more expensive  and much more of an inconvience for both patient and doctor.  
      Which begs the question, are these primary “cash-care” physicians willing to treat these minor issues, including ‘stiches’, ‘x-rays’, casts for limbs with simple breaks etc?   or are they going to refer them out anyway?

  • applepie101

    I have this arrangement with one of my doctors already.

    • DCGere

      applepie101 Same here. Since I became part of the “hopeandchange” (unemployed), I don’t have coverage any more. But, I pay my doctor cash and I get a discounted price. And I still get great service.

  • ChesterSimms

    Finally! ‘Nuff said.

  • DebbyX

    Doesn’t that only make sense?!  How much would YOU pay if your doc would make a house call?  I bet A LOT!!  At one time for them to join an HMO made their life easier.  Now it’s just a huge hassle.  Drop the whole darn thing and go it alone. I would definitely go to a doctor with this arrangement.  I keep getting bills from them anyway because the “girls” screw up all the time.

  • Rthuba

    This is how you get things done.

  • SheerPolitics

    The only problem is (and I hate to be a wet blanket) is this is not going to fit into the Obama model. They want a single payer system. People will still be forced to pay for Obama-insurance (which will be managed through the Obama donor insurance companies). You can BET the insurance companies will be lobbying to put a stop to doctors doing this sort of thing.
    I have long thought we’d be better off without most insurance. Insurance causes costs to rise, because doctors, big pharma, hospitals know how to code things to get the maximum revenue. The more people use the insurance, the more the premiums rise and the more costs go up. Then the costs rise because of all the paperwork that has to be done. It becomes a whole industry to itself that has nothing to do with making patients well! Doctors can’t even afford to have their own practice without going into a group clinic.

  • K-Bob

    I saw a headline about this and promptly forgot about it.  I’m glad you picked up on it, Scoop.  This is what I’ve been wanting since the first time I ever paid out-of-pocket in a classic, insurance-only joint.  It cost hundreds of dollars to have a Doc bandage up a cut on my son, and administer a tetanus shot.  If I’d had the tools for the tetanus shot, I would have done it all myself.
    It should have been about thirty-five bucks, but he was uninsured and out-of-plan (before Obamacare deemed that thirty-year olds are “kids”).  And this was at a clinic, not an ER.

    • SheerPolitics

      K-Bob  My husband cut his foot in the bathroom and nicked a small artery so blood was squirting out. 😛 This was on a holiday weekend. He got it wrapped up and we decided to take him to the “Doc in the box” type emergency care place as we didn’t have insurance and I thought he’d get seen faster. Care was good–he got in right away and they put a couple of stitches in and gave him a tetanus shot. We put down about $300 and when we left I thought that covered the entire charge as the guy at the desk waved us off. Then we got an additional bill for over $1,000! Hubby was able to negotiate it down a little, but I thought that was outrageous price. It took them of about 10-15 minutes of their time.

      • K-Bob

        SheerPolitics K-Bob Ouch!  That’s some serious dinero.  If “Insurance” hadn’t been distorted beyond all reason, that would never have been the cost of any of it.

  • Dr. Strangelove

    Hope I can find one of these around here. I don’t have insurance and in the current political climate don’t expect to have any for a while, if ever. Just a check up and routine tests are hundreds of dollars these days.

  • JohnCraven

    In the longer article there was the following passage:
    “While the cash-only model may please doctors, some question whether it’s good for middle- and low-income people.
    Kathleen Stoll, director of health policy at the consumer advocacy group Families U.S.A., didn’t want to speak directly to either Petersen’s or Nunamaker’s practice, as she didn’t know the specifics of each.
    But in general, she fears that doctors who switch to a cash-only model will drive away the patients who can’t afford a monthly membership fee or thousands of dollars for an operation.
    “They cherry-pick among their patient population to serve only the wealthier ones,” Stoll said. “It certainly creates a barrier to care.”
    If any of you listened to Rush today, Wednesday, June 12, 2013, you would have heard him talk about how this is how it used to be with doctors before insurance companies and the government got involved and it worked well for both patients and doctors.  Also Dr. Ben Carson often has talked about how physicians and surgeons used to donate quite a lot of their services to the poor as a matter of course in their profession and if you ever watch the video “The Claypools” which can be found at American Life League’s YouTube channel, you will see Dr. Ben Carson doing exactly that with the Claypool chidren.
    My only concern is what happens to one of the members when they are suddently unable to pay after they have paid a monthly fee for a long time but had no reason to go to the doctor and then they, let’s say, get laid off of work and get very sick at the same time.  I would hope that the membership fees for those months in which a patient never came to the doctor for help would apply in such an instance like a medical savings account like the ones which Dr. Carson and Rush Limbaugh and others have talked about..
    John Craven – New Orleans

    • 1tootall

      This bifurcated arrangement has been in Europe for years. Wealthy pay cash, the rest have to make do.

  • xlaurenstephens

    Dentists have been doing this for years! I applaud this. Since I am self employed, Obamacare has told me I am only eligible for MEDICAID! I didn’t ask for that and I don’t want those people in my business!

  • JoeCushing

    “Health advocates are skeptical, worrying that only the wealthy will benefit from this system.”  They aren’t health advocates, they are socialism advocates.  What they are advocating has nothing to do with health and everything to do with property.