Obamacare -- Revolting

doctor's orders

Here’s an interesting piece from Reason about physicians fighting back, er, working around Obamacare

Dr. Ryan Neuhofel, 31, offers a rare glimpse at what it would be like to go to the doctor without massive government interference in health care. Dr. Neuhofel, based in the college town of Lawrence, Kansas, charges for his services according to an online price list that’s as straightforward as a restaurant menu. A drained abscess runs $30, a pap smear, $40, a 30-minute house call, $100. Strep cultures, glucose tolerance tests, and pregnancy tests are on the house. Neuhofel doesn’t accept insurance. He even barters on occasion with cash-strapped locals. One patient pays with fresh eggs and another with homemade cheese and goat’s milk.
“Direct primary care,” which is the industry term for Neuhofel’s business model, does away with the bureaucratic hassle of insurance, which translates into much lower prices. “What people don’t realize is that most doctors employ an army of people for coding, billing, and gathering payment,” says Neuhofel. “That means you have to charge $200 to remove an ingrown toenail.” Neuhofel charges $50.

He consults with his patients over email and Skype in exchange for a monthly membership fee of $20-30. “I realized people would come in for visits with the simplest questions and I’d wonder, why can’t they just email me?” says Neuhofel. Traditional doctors have no way to get paid when they consult with patients over the phone or by email because insurance companies only pay for office visits.

Why did he choose this course? Neuhofel’s answer: “I didn’t want to waste my career being frustrated.”

4 comments to Obamacare — Revolting

  • Sharing with a doctor friend, fo’ sho’. He just became a daddy, so would likely appreciate how to better keep some of his own money.

  • -fritz-

    Good for him!

    My brother (not the retired Air Force pilot) the doctor, had a private practice in a small town in Colorado for some years. The population was mostly older, retired folks. When my brother decided to specialize and moved to a large rehab hospital in Pennsylvania to work, he wrote off over $40,000 worth of medical bills owed to him by the townsfolk, since most were not able to pay. He did not sue, but simply gifted all with the write-off. The doctor in Kansas in the article is a definite exception rather than the rule. Large medical offices with a ton of staff do charge a lot for their services. My brother had one nurse in the office, and my sister in law did the secretarial work as best she could, with 4 young kids to mother.

  • JimmyC

    This is exactly how the healthcare system as a whole works in Canada. Anybody who doesn’t want to deal with the long waits and red tape simply pays cash up front to the doctor, and gets their treatment right away. Socialism doesn’t make the free market go away, it just drives it underground.

  • Daniel

    Once some bureaucrat in D.C. gets a load of this, the Feds make this doctor’s activity illegal in … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 …

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