Health Care Politics Management

Cash-only doctors abandon the insurance system

From CNN Money:

In Wichita, Kan., 32-year old family physician Doug Nunamaker switched to a cash-only basis in 2010 after taking insurance for five years. (“Cash-only” is a loose description. Nunamaker accepts payment by debit or credit card too.)Under the traditional health insurance system, a large staff was required just to navigate all the paperwork, he said. That resulted in high overhead, forcing doctors like Nunamaker to take on more patients to cover costs…

“It would be like if car insurance paid for gas, oil and tires,” he said. “It would be very expensive, and you’d have to get pre-approval for a trip out of town.”

Source: Cash-only doctors abandon the insurance system – Jun. 11, 2013

I have been reading about cash only concierge medical practices for a few years. I believe doing this as a physician would be a real challenge. Since dental insurance covers so little to begin with and has essentially no catastrophic coverage it might be easier for a dentist to do.

If you could eliminate the costs of complying with third party reimbursements how much less could you charge? Would that be enough for patients to choose you over a dentist who takes and processes insurance?

My guess is that physicians spend far more than dentists on insurance processing so the savings they can offer would be greater.

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