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What are your thoughts on a pay as you go system for health care?

We have a doctor here in town who does not accept insurance.... of any kind. When you make an appointment, you are seen the same day (99% of the time). You pay $35 for an office visit and that includes any in-office screening he does (i.e. urine sample for a UTI). He always perscribes the $4 perscriptions from Walmart when he can. If we went back to that system and just had insurance for major medical, Americans could save so much money. Often times, when I try to get in at my PPO, I have to wait for days to be seen. Many times we opt to go to Dr. Brad and get the problem taken care of immediately. If there is a follow-up needed, the office visit is $10.

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Asked by ThatTXMom at 11:33 AM on Aug. 8, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

Level 7 (156 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • It would be nice, but unlike that doctor youre describing, the majority of doctors are not willing to see patients unless they can get some big bucks out of them. It's all about the money, unfortunately.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:35 AM on Aug. 8, 2009

  • Sounds like a good idea, but what about people who don't have the money to pay for every office business?

    Answer by Deidra08 at 11:35 AM on Aug. 8, 2009

  • Not sure how "Dr. Brad's" business model is profitable--does he not have malpractice insurance, office staff or rent and utilities (overhead) to pay for? I'm not sure how $35 per office visit pays for all that--let alone what he pays in taxes! ANd I've never known a doctor to volunteer 100% of their time!

    Answer by LoriKeet at 11:36 AM on Aug. 8, 2009

  • Maybe when you cut out all the extra office staff needed to file insurance claims and you get paid when services are rendered (not after filing and refiling and waiting for a BCBS check to be cut and mailed), just maybe you can survive. He does do a lot of FFA physicals (again cash only). He doesn't have to have someone to file for insurance approvals and such. Simply put, he takes care of his patients.

    So the math. 4 patients in an hour * 8 hours per day @ $35 and takes 2 weeks vacation a year that is $280K a year. Deduct 1 nurse and 1 office staffer salary... your looking at $200K - rent at $1000 per month = $148K not sure what malpractice insurance costs, but his shouldn't be much as he is not performing any major surgery or anything.... just seeing patients and taking care of them. So... maybe Dr Brad lives a good life with a modest home and sleeps well knowing his patients came first.

    Answer by ThatTXMom at 11:51 AM on Aug. 8, 2009

  • As to those who don't have $35 - simply put, when I need more money, I work more hours. I make sure to do whatever job is available to me (I'm not above scrubbing toilets) in order to make sure that my family has the medical care they need. I also choose sales as a profession because I don't have to wait for the boss to give me a raise... I can bust a$$ and make what I need to take care of my family.

    Answer by ThatTXMom at 11:52 AM on Aug. 8, 2009

  • We have a local doc who practices similar methods. They do accept insurances, but If you don't have a visit is 35 bucks.

    Answer by lovinangels at 12:04 PM on Aug. 8, 2009

  • A local doctor in our area did the same thing. It worked quite well for her because she could spend her time doing medicine, not running a business. She had one receptionist who handled phone calls. She didn't need a nurse to assist her because she wasn't pressed to see XX number of patients a day. She didn't need a staff to verify, bill, and collect insurance payments. She didn't need an expensive computer system. Everyone paid up front, so there were no surprises when they received their bill. She rented an inexpensive office space and saw enough patients a day to make a comfortable living.

    Sad for us, she decided to move to another state to be closer to her family.

    Answer by mancosmomma at 12:13 PM on Aug. 8, 2009

  • Gosh, that would be nice. When we had insurance we had a $40 copay. So the kids never went unless they had to go for a well check up or were really, really sick because we couldn't afford it. Thanks goodness, they are now on chip for the time being. When the boys didn't have coverage one well check-up cost us $119 and the doctor basically did nothing, we were in the office for maybe 15 minutes.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:31 PM on Aug. 8, 2009

  • It may judt work. I received an eob for an office visit my daughter had and the amount charged for thisi visit(she thought she had strep) was $170. That is crazy but that being said the allowed amount the insurance company had agreed to with the Dr was just $64. So the Dr is not allowed to recoup the difference. He was only able to collect the 10% coinsurance we have on top of the $69 the ins paid. If they can work with that why do they charge that horrendous amount anyway?
    Take insurance away for everything except for a yearly physical and well child visits any testing for that and catastophic ins. and maybe things would work more smoothly with less red tape and cost to all.

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 12:48 PM on Aug. 8, 2009

  • Well, then since this practice seems to be a solid business model, perhaps this is what all general physicians SHOULD do if Obama Care comes to fruition!!! Then they won;t have to answer to government, yet take care of their patients!!!

    Wouldn't that be a slap in the face to Obama and his administration--to see thousands upon thousands of physicians discovering cost-effective ways to avoid government control?! LOL :o)


    Answer by LoriKeet at 1:46 PM on Aug. 8, 2009

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