Here’s byline CNN ran for their recent concierge medicine article featuring Doug Nunamaker.
“Fed up with declining payments and rising red tape, a small but growing number of doctors are opting out of the insurance system completely. They’re expecting patients to pony up with cash.”
It feels like these wordsmiths are out to get us. We’re not trying to get patients to “pony” up to anything. We just want patients to have access to a doctor when they need it. And we want to keep our lights on and our families fed. We want to be rewarded for our work, as anyone does. And if we can provide something meaningful for less than a monthly cable bill in most instances, more power to us. In this case we’ll pardon the journalist. They were introducing some sleight of hand to create drama. Truth is, the article winds up being incredibly supportive and informative of concierge medicine.
Here’s what Doug told CNN in regards to his transition to the growing field:
“The paperwork, the hassles, it just got to be overwhelming,” Nunamaker said. ‘We knew that we had to find a better way to practice.” He continued to say, “My professional life is better than expected, my family life and personal time is better than expected. This is everything I wanted out of family medicine.”
CNN Money also interviewed Kevin Petersen, a general surgeon based in Las Vegas. He stopped taking insurance in 2005, naming the same reasons as Doug: “too much paperwork and overhead, declining payments from insurance companies, and a general loss of control.”
According to Petersen, “The insurance industry took over my practice. They were telling me what procedures I could do, who I could treat — I basically became their employee.”
Sure, Petersen might be dramatizing his working relationship with insurers a bit, but still, that sounds miserable. Oh well. He got the leg up with his hernia removal practice. He charges $5,000 a pop, targeting middle-aged, pre-Medicare eligible patients who are glad to have the operation done for a third of what it might cost them otherwise.
Despite the pony-upped byline the article portrays concierge medicine in a glowing light. In actuality, we might have to call out CNN for doing some biased journalism (in our favor, thank you). The only “critic” included in the article was Kathleen Stoll, director of health policy at the consumer advocacy group Families U.S.A., who “didn’t want to speak directly to either Petersen’s or Nunamaker’s practice, as she didn’t know the specifics of each.” Didn’t know the specifics? We get it. We only have all our subscription prices on our website. Oh, and we posted a complete price breakdown yesterday. But again, she’s only human, and she’s doing her job. We should send her a thank you for countering our solution to a botched healthcare system with something as vague and dismissible as “I’m always cautious when it’s a cash basis. Are you somehow being put at risk? I’d have a list of questions.”
Kathleen, if you have any questions, send us an email direct. We’re glad to talk you through how AtlasMD is thriving under free market principles.
Please, read the complete article, and if you’re up for it, leave a comment. The thread’s growing as we blog, and the support for our system is undeniable. It’s amazing to see this bipartisan issue get legs in the mainstream media. See below for some of our favorite replies.
Then TJWoo threw out a ludicrous accusation. All good, though. People like EdwardLudvigsen are drinking the concierge medicine Kool-Aid.
Even Dr. Doug jumped in to correct TJWoo, who conceded his point.
You’ll find a pattern in the comment thread. Every conversation resolves itself to CONCIERGE MEDICINE MAKES SENSE. Even the trolls are having trouble arguing with its clear vision and undeniable benefits.