Frustrating Runaround


Remember this term: narrow network.  What this means is that as insurance companies get more controlling they will be very selective about which doctor you can see.  They will remove doctors who they deem too costly, who don’t play by their quality rules, etc.  Doctors also may opt out of some low-balling insurance networks.  The bottom line is that we all know President Obama’s multiple quotes saying, “If you like the plan you have, you can keep it. If you like the doctor you have, you can keep your doctor, too. The only change you’ll see are falling costs as our reforms take hold” was absolute horsesh%t.  Now we have this:

Jon Fougner says his simple search for a doctor through the insurance company website turned into a ‘Dickensian nightmare.’ Some doctors did not accept new patients, others never returned his calls, and some had wrong contact information listed on the Empire BlueCross BlueShield website, he claims. He accuses Empire of breach of contract, fraud and false advertising.

That, my friends, is called a narrow network.  Mr. Fougner’s best bet is the get the lowest monthly plan he can purchase with the highest deductible and then he should find a direct primary care doctor.  What we all should be pushing for is not to expand these networks but to get some CHEAP catastrophic plans on the exchange or from insurance companies that people can buy.  Those plans should be stripped of everything except emergencies, like care insurance, and then let people cover healthcare until they meet those deductibles.   This will promote comparative shopping by patients and that will drive down costs.

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] 

  1 comment for “Frustrating Runaround

  1. Jimboramameister
    October 10, 2014 at 9:32 am

    You mean go back to health care financing circa 1974? When it actually worked and health care wasn’t bankrupting the country? What a concept….

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