In Sonoma County, a man is battling more than a dozen tumors in his body.
Oh, and now he is fighting a different battle, says CBS News, with his insurance carrier, Anthem Blue Cross.
While open enrollment for coverage under the Affordable Care Act is closed, many of the newly insured are finding they can’t find doctors, landing them into a state described as “medical homelessness.”
Rotacare, a free clinic for the uninsured in Mountain View, is dealing with the problem firsthand.
Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor of CBS Philadelphia, made a sad recommendation when he said, “Next time you see your doctor you might want to ask if he or she is happy.” Ouch. According to a study last year, 42% of docs admit they are ‘dissatisfied’ or ‘very dissatisfied’ in their medical practices, and 59% say they are unlikely to encourage a young person to go into medicine (talk about exacerbating the doctor shortage). Compare that with only 16% of physicians reporting a generally favorable outlook about their career future. Read more
So CBS News in Las Vegas aired a segment about MedLion a few weeks ago. You’ve probably heard us mention Dr Samir Qamar’s operation. He was originally a high-end concierge medical doctor, offering private, 24/7 service for the elite Pebble Beach Golf Resort. He charged his patients as much as $30,000 a month.
No worries, he is charging much less now. 70 bucks a month and a $10 copay. His model doesn’t include the house calls we do, and it is a little more expensive than what we’re offering here. That said, it takes all kinds to bring direct care and cash-only medicine to life. Every time a news segment’s telling our side of the healthcare story, we’ll call it a win. Part of us might want to argue with MedLion, “Oh, you’re charging too much.” But that’s petty. In fact, that type of pettiness would be great. Seriously, that dialogue will only happen when direct care goes mainstream. American healthcare would look a lot different then. We’d welcome a new set of problems to overcome, new battles to win. At least we’d have made it past today’s impasse, where insurance dictates patient care, and not the other way around.
So we use the Internet here at Atlas MD. It’s part of our daily routine to Tweet with patients (if they choose) about ailments, conditions, and the like. We also use our web-based Atlas.md EMR to view patient records and do just about anything else that needs doing here at the office.
And since we’re online all the time, we learned about this whole Throwback Thursday thing (aka #tbt). So here’s one for you. Check out this article from 2004, almost ten years old now. It’s about one of the first cash-only primary care physicians, Dr. Vern Cherewatenko, and a patient named Chuck O’Brien. Back then, Dr. Vern charged patients $50 to come in and get a physical. It was that simple.