Nearly 6,000 physicians across the country run cash-only practices, and that number continues to increase by 25% each year. Physicians wish to regain control over their practice from the reigns of insurance and spend more time with patients. A cash-only practice may be called “concierge” or “direct primary care”, where patients pay a membership monthly fee (on average $135) and establish a retainer-type relationship with patients.
Physicians are tired of increasing bureaucracy and Medicrats meddling in their day to day operations. Insurance reimbursements are low, and operating costs are not being met. Dr. Marcy Zwelling of Los Alamitos said her transition to a cash-based practice was to “perform my job adequately”. She charges a flat fee of $2,000 per year.
Having a cash-only primary care physician is good, even for patients with insurance. Those with high deductible plans can pay for their preventative care, then use the insurance for catastrophes. More and more patients under age 65 want to know what their medical care costs and benefit from this transparency. Naysayers feel that the insurance system keeps doctors accountable, yet these insurance-free doctors are held accountable by their patients who have the choice to stay with their current physician or search for another.
Plevin, Rebecca. “Are cash-only doctors better for consumers?” Blogs. 89.3 KPCC, 7 Oct 2015. Web. 8 Oct 2015.