The Big Think

May 29, 2013

South Portland doctor stops accepting insurance, posts prices online

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 9:32 pm

South Portland doctor stops accepting insurance, posts prices online: “‘It’s been almost unanimous that patients have expressed understanding at why I’m doing what I’m doing, although I’ve had many people leave the practice because they want to be covered by insurance, which is understandable,’ Ciampi said.

Before the switch, Ciampi had about 2,000 patients. He lost several hundred, he said. Some patients with health coverage, faced with having to seek reimbursement themselves rather than through his office, bristled at the paperwork burden. But the decision to do away with insurance allows Ciampi to practice medicine the way he sees fit, he said. Insurance companies no longer dictate how much he charges. He can offer discounts to patients struggling with their medical bills. He can make house calls.

‘I’m freed up to do what I think is right for the patients,’ Ciampi said. ‘If I’m providing them a service that they value, they can pay me, and we cut the insurance out as the middleman and cut out a lot of the expense.’…

Before, Ciampi charged $160 for an office visit with an existing patient facing one or more complicated health problems. Now, he charges $75.

Patients with an earache or strep throat can spend $300 at their local hospital emergency room, or promptly get an appointment at his office and pay $50, he said.

Ciampi collects payment at the end of the visit, freeing him of the time and costs associated with sending bills, he said.

That time is crucial to Ciampi. When his patients come to his office, they see him, not a physician’s assistant or a nurse practitioner, he said.

“If more doctors were able to do this, that would be real health care reform,” he said. “That’s when we’d see the cost of medicine truly go down.””

The market at work without the distortions of our messed up insurance system.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Powered by WordPress