Direct Primary Doctors Provide More Affordable Alternative To ‘Concierge’ Care
A small but growing number of doctors is bypassing insurance and charging patients a monthly fee for services.
The Wall Street Journal:
With Direct Primary Care, It’s Just Doctor And Patient
There’s no waiting room at Linnea Meyer’s tiny primary-care practice in downtown Boston. That’s because there’s rarely a wait to see her. She has only 50 patients to date and often interacts with them by text, phone or email. There’s no office staff because Dr. Meyer doesn’t charge for visits or file insurance claims. Patients pay her a monthly fee—$25 to $125, depending on age—which covers all the primary care they need. “Getting that third-party payer out of the room frees me up to focus on patient care,” says Dr. Meyer, who hopes to expand her year-old practice to 200 patients and is relying on savings until then. “This kind of practice is why I went into medicine, and that feels so good.” (Beck, 2/26)
In other doctor-patient news —
When You Don’t Speak The Same Language As Your Child’s Doctor
When Margarita Ruiz takes her children to the doctor’s office, she has no choice but to trust that nurses and front desk staff are translating medical orders accurately. She doesn’t speak English and her children’s pediatrician speaks very little Spanish. Ruiz, of Rosemead, Calif., said she feels grateful that staff members at the office of her children’s current doctor are usually available to translate. In the past, in a different doctor’s office, her oldest son, 14, translated for her. “It wasn’t ideal, but I didn’t have much of a choice,” said the 33-year-old homemaker. Health care experts say it is not advisable to use untrained interpreters, whether they are medical office staff members or your own family members. (Ibarra, 2/27)