The Recovering Doctor

Someone recently asked me why I believe that health care should not be “free”. I tried to explain to him that making healthcare “free”‘ actually makes healthcare more expensive; What product or service provided by the government isn’t ridiculously expensive? (Think about the $50 rivets, $1000 toilets, etc. ). And who pays for that? The tax payer of course! We pay for it one way or another. When we pay for it directly, everyone wins…especially the doctor himself. And being a consumer of healthcare, don’t you want your doctor to be able to think with a clear mind? I, for one, do not want to be treated by a doctor who feels hog tied by the government, who is overworked and underpaid, to care for my health.

This story written by Dr. Rob Lambert tells the story of a Doctor who freed himself from our third party payment system successfully.  We need more docs to join the direct pay movement.  Not only does this movement improve quality and make healthcare affordable and accessible to consumers, but it is also changing the landscape of employer sponsored benefits in the self-insured realm, and Benefits Consulants across the USA are catching on.  If you are a direct paying consumer of healthcare or an employer with a self-insured healthcare plan, reach out to your benefit adviser for more information.

Lynne Erickson of Erickson Financial Services, the author of this article, is a benefit consultant in Colorado Springs, Colorado.



Medicare for all – a bad idea among many

Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a fan of this idea of Medicare for all. Even though it will cost us more to see our doctor, we are encouraging her to opt out of Medicare and Medicaid so that she can survive as a small practitioner, one of the handful left in our city who has not been forced to sell her practice to the hospital (which then charges more than the practice did because it is allowed to under the rules).

Reason has a great article on the down sides to this idea. Here are a couple of good quotes, though I recommend you read the whole thing.

“Red tape is also a huge burden for medical providers who accept Medicare. ‘A random survey of 1,000 practices found physicians and staff spend 15.1 hours engaged in quality measure reporting each week, at a cost of more than $40,000 per year for each doctor,’ according to FierceHealthCare.

“Jumping through bureaucratic hurdles for the privilege of accepting substandard compensation isn’t as attractive as it might seem. That may be why a growing number of physicians refuse to see Medicare patients, others limit the number they’ll accept, and more balk all the time.”