Free to Practice Medicine

I believe this first came to my attention through Charlie via Rep. Scot Turner (a really cool guy if you’ve never met him). There’s a Doctor in Maine that has decided to not accept any form of health insurance, private or other, at his practice.

This policy was followed with a posting on his practice’s website of a menu of health services with costs. Which means this Doctor can actually practice medicine. What a CRAZY idea.

My Aunt and Uncle are both experienced Pediatricians and I have several other friends that are relatively new at the whole doctoring thing, but one thing I hear often is about the lack of ability to be a Doctor.

Rather than having to fill out reimbursement paperwork or being forced to charge a certain amount set by the insurance company, Dr. Ciampi is actually able to spend his time treating patients and helping improve their quality of life.

Here’s the best quote

…“I’ve been able to cut my prices in half because my overhead will be so much less,” he said.

 

30 comments

  1. drjay says:

    wow, i know several of my dental colleagues that don’t accept insurance—it certainly does cut out a lot of certain kinds of headaches…

    • Lawton Sack says:

      “In early 2013, Ciampi sent a letter to his patients informing them that he would no longer accept any kind of health coverage, both private and government-sponsored.”

  2. Noway says:

    Good. It’s his practice. He can do what he wants. I’ll bet he’s vilified for it, though. Get ready, doc.

  3. greencracker says:

    Plenty of MDs and DDM/S will take cash, even are cool about working out payment plans. Just call around and ask. I can point you to a dentist in Decatur if you want to get started.

    On the one hand, insurance is troublesome: finding a doctor that takes my plan, and trying to figure out what exactly my plan will cover. And that they take 1,000 years to pay my doctor, who in the meantime sends me past due invoices.

    But OTOH, if God Forbid, I end up in a tough car wreck or with a cancer diagnosis … um … I’m not going to have the money to pay for that, even if it is 50 percent off.

    I’m not sure how to solve this except by joining a pool.

    • Ken says:

      Maggie,

      Actually, Harry has a point. You can get a “reasonably priced” plan with a high deductible and use it for catastrophic illness only. Of course, if you are in a pool it will be less expensive.

  4. Al Gray says:

    Look up the The Surgery Center of Oklahoma. It has proven that 80% cost reductions are possible using direct payment providers.

  5. Al Gray says:

    Look up the The Surgery Center of Oklahoma. It has proven that 80% cost reductions are possible using direct payment providers.

    In the old days everyone paid the doctor and the patient received any insurance proceeds.

    It might take system collapse, but that is where I think we end up.

  6. saltycracker says:

    Some protest: representing the irresponsible that don’t buy insurance ?

    Those with limited options should go with high deductible policies.

    How about some legislation that opens the doors of competition and encourages innovation ?

    • Ken says:

      It’s currently possible to purchase insurance across state lines here in Georgia as long as those companies meet certain requirements designed to make sure they live up to their contracts.

      It’s currently impossible to purchase insurance across state lines here in Georgia because no out-of-state insurance companies will undertake the investment to ensure they meet those requirements.

      Some people, like me, believe Obamacare and its host of regulatory uncertainties is one reason this has not happened. It’s not smart to invest a great deal of money in such a highly regulated area where the government and its interpretation of laws are undefined and possibly unanticipated.

  7. seenbetrdayz says:

    My mother recently tried to get an MRI. She was told the insurance wouldn’t pay for it, so she was initially quoted for $2,400, out of pocket. She told the lady over the phone that there’s no way she could afford that, and hung up. About 10 minutes later, the office called her back. Two more rounds of this ensued before eventually they set the price at $1,200.

    I think doctors have no idea what a fair market price would be for these sorts of procedures. They’re used to billing as much as possible to the insurance companies and getting back whatever counter-offer the insurance companies make.

  8. Charlie says:

    This sounds awesome to me. President Obama should call him tomorrow and congratulate him so we can all change our mind and hate him by Monday. #commoncore #healthcareexchanges

  9. Dave Bearse says:

    This doc is simply limiting his practice to what will become an increasingly narrow segment of people, the uninsured that can pay on a regular basis.

    High deductible? The high deductible insurer isn’t going to take the insured’s word there’s been $5,000 or $10,000 spent on qualified medical expenses when preparing to make insurance payments. The insured will need the doc’s word he’ll fill out insurance paperwork should the deductible be met by significant payments to the doc.

    this guy

    • Harry says:

      You don’t think service invoices and payment receipts would suffice? It wouldn’t seem a major problem to validate a claim.

      • Dave Bearse says:

        That still leaves the insurer relying on the word of the insured, a non-medical professional, that the payments were for qualified expenses for services and materials that may not be documented to insurance industry standards if the doc doesn’t deal with standard coding. I anticipate the insured having to rely on the doctor (which the doctor may be willing to do in the extraordinary circumstance of the deductible being met).

  10. Al Gray says:

    I recently had surgery on 3 veins. The cost gobbled up the co-pays and high deductible, so that the 4th, a hugely distorted and enlarged vein by all medical standards, would be at the insurer’s cost.

    They refused to pay for that one.

    What good is $1100 a month insurance, if the insurer uses such tactics?

    • saltycracker says:

      These are usually primary care physicians, not specialists – and for most it is a personal relationship decision and a premium to the health care insurance they have. I know women who stay with and pay their non-insurance obgyn for their annual exam too.
      To suggest this approach to replace insurance/medicare/Medicaid seems irresponsible.

  11. NorthGeorgiaGirl says:

    There has been a doctor like that in Cartersville for years. His name is Dr. Tim Ryan. http://thephysicianspractice.com/home.html
    He even does house calls. I know a few people who have gone to him, his office visits are very reasonable.

    Maybe his pediatrician brother will eventually go the same route. I have a feeling there will be a market for “black market” docs who have left the system very soon. Is it legal under the “Affordable Care Act” to not take insurance and/or pay cash? If it is, I’m sure it won’t be eventually.

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