In an effort to combat difficult reimbursement policies set by insurance companies, doctors are devising unique and innovative ways for patients to pay their medical bills. Lisa Zamosky provides a comprehensive overview of the ways doctors are improving the bill payment process. One method is the “concierge model” used by physicians like Dr. Gregory Yu. This model, beginning to emerge in many parts of the country, allows patients special privileges with their doctor—services like same-day appointments and 24-hour access to physicians via text message and email—in exchange for a flat yearly fee. In Dr. Yu’s case, patients pay $150 a month for this increased access. Not only do patients have easier access to their doctors, but physicians receive a larger proportion of a patient’s medical bill. Yu say this method allows him to “provide better service to his patients.”
Additional methods described by Zamosky include the increasingly common practice of doctors in a local area consolidating to create large medical groups or organizations. Not only does merging decrease overhead and risk, but allows for easier collaboration between physicians so they can provide superior patient care. The third model set forth by Zamosky is a cash-only practice in which insurance companies are eliminated all together. Doctors receive cash payments from their patients without any intervention by insurance companies. These three models described by Zamosky in her article demonstrate creative ways physicians deal with lower payouts from insurance companies.
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