It’s been about six months since the health insurance coffers began overflowing yet they have decided they want more and therefore are rolling back the telehealth coverage they were offering to patients and doctors. You know what happens next, right? If docs don’t get paid then they will force patients to come to the office. And patients won’t do it. It’s simple economics.
All the insurers are doing different rollbacks. Some are un-waiving the copayments. Some are excluding CV19 visits. And even within health plans, it is different. It’s not like the insurers to make things confusing, right?
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The WSJ article, if you can read it due to the paywall, mentions this anecdote:
For Karen Smith, a family physician in Raeford, N.C., about a third of her patient visits in a typical week is now virtual, she said. The expanded coverage provided a financial lifeline to her practice and enabled her to stay in touch with patients who were afraid to come to the office because they feared viral infection, she said.
Patients might be less likely to use the remote visits if there is a charge, Dr. Smith said: “If they do have to pay, our patients are not going to accept the service.”
Do you know who doesn’t have this issue, Dr. Smith? DIRECT PRIMARY CARE. Get off the teat of the insurance system and make the change. Every DPC doc I know (and I know a lot) financially withstood the pandemic. Or you are could continue to get your bottom chapped into rawhide from the likes of Aetna, UnitedHealth, etc. (See what I did there?)
Here is a link to my book on how to do it: http://dpcbook.com