Saving Money by Charging Directly

Another doctor has flown the insurance coop.

“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.”

“I’ve been able to cut my prices in half because my overhead will be so much less,” he said.

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.

“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.”

Getting Healthier or just Covering Up the Symptoms?

One of the problems with modern medicine which I share in MicroSecession is that many of the drugs we use don’t actually solve our problem – they just cover up the symptoms – and then cause side-effects (i.e. more problems than we originally had). The best way to avoid this is healthy eating. We need to return to less-processed foods, and have a deeper understanding of not just what food is and where it comes from, but what it does. We tend to think of food as an inert substance that we consume, but really each food affects us in small, subtle ways. But over thyme (haha!) these subtleties add up, and we can use food to help us regain our health long-term.

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Paying Less By Sidestepping Insurance

The book spent a chapter talking about how just paying directly for healthcare can actually be cheaper than using insurance, and the overall failure of insurance to provide value. This short video covers some of the huge differences in cost between costs getting surgery in the traditional hospital/insurance route and the private payer/independent route. It is very eye opening.