Removing the Third Party

I love the concept of independence.   Unfortunately, when I came out of residency it was not an option.  I was broke, had a family, and needed security after spending a decade of my “earning” years in school.   Now, doctors are trying to eschew insurance and directly bill the patient and I love it!  This is authentic.  This is the answer.  It has started small and doctors don’t have all the answers yet but these adventurous docs are the tip of the spear and they deserve all the credit in the world. I have mentioned my friend Josh over at www.atlas.md before.    Now others are starting to follow or do their own thing.  If you read the linked article you will see how some practices in some states have faced challenges from insurance commissioners.  That’s good!  That means they and the insurance companies who lobby them are threatened.    This plan does not have to cater to the wealthy.  It is also not a new concept.   What was old is new again and can work.    Hopefully, I will be there with them in future.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  4 comments for “Removing the Third Party

  1. Sheila Chambers
    May 9, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    Things might look different from the patents view.

    S/He gets a letter informing him/her that his/her health care providers no longer accept insurance.

    I think it’s time to negotiate a much cheaper health insurance plan since my Doctors no longer accept insurance.
    Then the patent needs to find out what the doctors fee schedule is and if they can afford it now.
    So I see unhappy private for profit insurance companies making less profit and patients waiting longer and getting sicker before seeing a doctor.
    Just like now only worse.

    • Doug Farrago
      May 10, 2012 at 5:53 am

      How about a high deductible plan for catastrophic insurance in case of a major accident, etc. Then $70 a month to see your doctor as often as you like. No copays. I think that is simple. And better. See http://www.atlas.md

  2. May 7, 2012 at 12:11 am

    Amen Doug, we should all hope for that concept to spread. We’ll know if direct billing/concierge/cash-only, etc is really taking hold when the pushback from insurance companies and government gets serious. When pushed, I predict the AMA, AAFP, IOM, CMS – all the usual suspects – to start floating all sorts of studies questioning the quality, safety and fairness of practices choosing to do without ICD-10 manuals to catalog all the freakin’ turtle bites.

    • Doug Farrago
      May 7, 2012 at 5:28 am

      Here’s the thing. I think the right person or group can not only stop pushback from insurance company but actually get them to embrace it! Remember, they don’t get billed by the doctors! Why wouldn’t they love it?

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