Friday, January 16, 2015

U.S. Healthcare Solution, Back to the Future? Concierge Medicine and Third-Party-Free Practices

This is from the NCPA, summarizing Gerard J. Gianoli, "Saying Goodbye to Third-Party Medical Payments," Wall Street Journal, January 15, 2015:
At concierge practices, patients pay a flat monthly or annual fee, gaining access to a doctor, and many practices don't accept insurance. Similarly, third-party-free practices take on patients but refuse to accept insurance -- patients pay cash for visits and services, free from the complexity and confusion of insurance companies, copays and deductibles. Patients know their costs upfront, and Gianoli says both patients and doctors can save money this way:
  • Without insurance billing, doctors save 40 percent on average in administrative expenses.
  • With reduced administrative fees, patients are charged less for visits and services.
  • Gianoli's own third-party-free practice charges three to four times less than the industry average for the same services. 
With these models, patients are left with more money in their pockets and more control over their own health care decisions.