Cash-Only Practices: Medical Doctors Reconsider Their Options
SOURCE: Medscape ~ 2-10-2012
By Neil Chesanow
It’s not just chiropractors who are considering switching to all-cash practices. Managed Care is also losing its grip on medical practices.
Cash-only (also called “direct-pay”) medical practices, in which doctors shun managed care contracts and are paid in cash by patients, are gaining adherents — admittedly slowly, but surely. And while there have been philosophical and logistic criticisms of the model, some of those are steadily breaking down.
One reason is that low insurance reimbursements, particularly from Medicare, are making it harder to meet practice overhead expenses. Another is that increasingly more doctors, particularly primary care physicians, seek greater control over their patient visits and patient relations.
“How do you create a practice model where your patients are your payers, where you get doctor and patient back into a real relationship, and where patients can trust in the way doctors work and how they do business?” asks Alan Dappen, MD, who has a cash-only solo practice in Vienna, Virginia.
Cash-Only: Making a Real Impact?