Direct Primary Care Cherry Picking?


Now I know how the government and the naysayers are going to try and stop the Direct Primary Care trend.  Here is a great article on the CNN website that highlights my friends over at  At the bottom they quote some idiot who is the director of health policy at the consumer advocacy group Families U.S.A.  Kathleen Stoll fears that doctors who switch to a cash-only model “will drive away the patients who can’t afford a monthly membership fee or thousands of dollars for an operation.”

  • “They cherry-pick among their patient population to serve only the wealthier ones,” Stoll said. “It certainly creates a barrier to care.”
  • She’s also concerned that the limited scope of the discounts these doctors negotiate for services outside their purview may not cut it if a patient comes down with a really serious illness.
  • “I’m always cautious when it’s a cash basis,” she said. “Are you somehow being put at risk? I’d have a list of questions.”

How does $75 monthly drive away people?  How does this put people at risk?  They (gov’t, super liberals, insurance carriers, etc) are threatened and so they are trying to create doubts in peoples’ minds.  Let the propaganda begin.

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] 

  7 comments for “Direct Primary Care Cherry Picking?

  1. Stella Fitzgibbons MD
    June 12, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    I wish those “I take cash, not insurance” docs would make sure their big-bucks patients know that good ol’ Dr. Cashman will be nowhere to be seen if hospital care is needed–because you gotta take Medicare if you want hospital privileges. Gallbladder? MI? Yeah, one of Dr. Cashman’s cronies will handle those problems, and you’ll be lucky to get a social visit from your dear and glorious boutique physician.

    • Doug Farrago
      June 12, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      I disagree. Most FPs don’t do inpatient anyway so concierge or not, he or she ain’t coming. Second, it is the concierge who WILL do the social visit and not the employed doc because he has time to care.

  2. Thomas Winston
    June 12, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    We charge $75 per visit for our cash pay patients. We also offer (what I consider) affordable lab. We let our patients know what the visit and lab/procedures cost up front. Try getting that kind of info out of a hospital based system, which offers a price unique to each insurance carrier, and the highest price of all going to self-pays.

  3. Marlene Sell
    June 12, 2013 at 11:33 am

    I could afford the $75 a month but I have another widow friend who last month had $7.00 left over after she paid her bills. What would happen to her? It’s us old folks who worked all their lives that are going to feel the brunt of this. I worked full time till I was 74 years old and I resent the lazy bums sitting around collecting disability, food stamps and free medical care. How about telling those jerks to get a job!?

    • Pat
      June 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      Marlene, the problem is Medicare. It was a false bill of goods sold to guarantee an impossible security. While some of the elderly paid into the program most of their lives, because of price inflation, most quickly use up the dollars they paid into the system, and then start adding to the debt, which must then be paid by others. Many doctors are going broke treating Medicare patients, yet the government continues to heap new regulations, costs, and threat of prosecution (!) on doctors, even as they blame them for the problem. And no politician will tell you or your friend the truth, because you vote, and you will throw out anyone who threatens Medicare. Those are the historical facts.

      I too resent the lazy bums that fill up every ER I work in, but even kicking them to the curb will not correct the fatal systemic flaws in Medicare. People suffering the ravages of aging – which will include me soon enough – does not justify stealing the economic future of those not yet even born. As a society, we must be honest about this program’s failure if we are ever to improve health care for you, and those that will be left with the tab. I do sympathize with your concern, but all the sympathy in the world will not change the cold numbers.

  4. Pat
    June 12, 2013 at 10:39 am

    The bland-sounding Families USA is a socialist bunch woes only mission for years has been to nationalize ALL health care. I’ve watched their smiling reps on cable shows since the mid-1990’s and they always question, or just show earnest concern, or blatantly oppose anything in health care that is not government controlled. And agenda-driven bunches like CNN always go to them as recognized experts. It is about total, final control.

  5. Ben Van Raalte
    June 12, 2013 at 10:09 am

    The same people who object to any of these proposals are the same government officials that get a pension based on their last, and often highest paid position. They have no problem with having a college degree, getting a 50k a year position for 1600 hours of work a year, advancing into a 200,000 a year position and retiring on (at least in California) a 270,000 pension a year after they spike their pension. That is ok, and perfectly fine to get a quarter of million a year pension.

    A lawyer can charge for all phone calls, emails, and copying. Heck my accountant charged us $400 for phone calls last month to explain his work that he charged about $3000 for.

    But a doctor charging $75 a month for services, how outrageous.

Comments are closed.