A Rose By Any Other Name…

Call it what you want: concierge medicine, fixed-fee agreements, retainer medicine, membership medicine, or cash-only practice. Direct Care is reducing costs, making more sense for families than ever before – and Michigan is taking steps to keep this business model around.

According to the Michigan Capital Confidential, “Medical retainer agreements between physicians and patients will not be considered “insurance” in Michigan under a recently passed bill signed into law on Jan. 15 by Gov. Rick Snyder. The idea is to ensure that this innovative way for families to obtain routine medical services at lower costs will not be stifled by the extensive state regulatory structure currently imposed on conventional health insurance policies that cover expensive non-routine care.”

The idea that Direct Care results in higher quality medical care is becoming more widely accepted. It works for patients, who enjoy perks like shorter wait times, longer appointments, and actual one-on-one attention as well as physicians. Jack McHugh, legislative analyst with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy agrees everyone wins with this business plan. “What’s not to like about a very inexpensive relationship that covers all your family’s routine health care needs with no burdensome insurance paperwork, copays and bureaucracy? This can be liberating for doctors too, who are freed up to focus purely on patients’ needs rather than insurance company and bureaucrats’ needs.”

Read the full article for more information on Senate Bill 1033, now Public Act 552 of 2014, as well as the guidelines for being considered a “medical retainer agreement.” >