Cutting Out the Middle Man….

2015-01-02_08-41-50Concierge care was originally conceived before Obamacare, and it revved up in response to the Great Recession as an escape hatch for doctors fleeing the status quo. The existing fee-for-service system pays caregivers a certain amount for each test, diagnosis and procedure–which, according to critics, encourages overtreatment instead of preventive wellness care. Qliance, along with a growing number of similar operations, aims to be more than an escape. It seeks to be the answer to the quest of health care reformers: healthier patients at a lower cost. Fix the way primary-care doctors are paid, the Blisses argue, and we can cut unneeded tests, premature procedures and excessive ER visits. The driving insight here is that primary care and specialized care have two very different missions. Americans need more of the first so they’ll need less of the second. And each requires a different business model. Primary care should be paid for directly, because that’s the easiest and most efficient way to purchase a service that everyone should be buying and using.

SOURCE: Medicine Is About to Get Personal | TIME.

I don’t think I am the only person who believes that insurance companies stand between me and my doctor and tell us both how we will do business together. Of course that business is keeping me healthy, or at least as healthy as I can be given my circumstances. The above article is several thousand words long so it was difficult to pick just a few of the words to illustrate the change but I tried to compress it here.

Doctors are leaving primary-care practices in droves. They don’t like being told that they can only spend 11 minutes with a patient and that a major part of their practice is geared toward a massive amount of paperwork to the insurance company to justify what they are doing.  The solution to this problem is to cut out the middleman. That is to remove the insurance company from this interaction. That seems to be just what Dr. Bliss has successfully done with over 35,000 patients in the State of Washington. Instead of paying an insurance premium you pay a monthly fee directly to your doctor and he can then significantly cut his costs and spend whatever time is necessary with each patient.  As a result his patients only need to buy a much less expensive hospital and speciality doctor insurance policy.   It is a win-win situation for both the doctor and the patient.

We definitely need something to change in our current U.S. healthcare industry and this might be that accomplishable change. It would be great if we could finally get into a single payer system much like the rest of the world does and how we in Medicare are currently getting our healthcare needs. But until that time comes cutting out the middleman seems to make a lot of sense.  If you are interested in this sort of thing I would advise you to click on the source above to get more details.

2 thoughts on “Cutting Out the Middle Man….

  • This rings familiar. My wife is a primary care physician who gets to spend all of 14 minutes (not just 11!) with each patient…but spends much of that time staring into a computer as she types notes from the patient and clicks on various tabs to document the visit (all thanks to the genius of Electronic Medical Records).

    Many doctors in my area are practicing “Concierge Care” since it reduces paperwork, the number of folks you see and increases the length of time per patient – but it is unaffordable for many families and only covers primary care visits with a particular practice. There is often (usually?) no ER or hospital coverage so if you find yourself in the hospital you might find yourself in bankruptcy court…

    Like

    • Thanks for the additional info Steve. Yeah the article did mention that insurance is still needed for hospitals and specialists. The obvious solution is to do what the rest of the world has found to provide affordable healthcare for all. Why we Americans are just so stubborn in this and several other areas is just beyond me.

      My doctor usually has one of the nurses do all the computer work before he sees me. That helps some…

      Like

Share Your Thoughts..

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s