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As Obamacare Deadline Looms, Doctors are Opting for “Cash Only” Clinics

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Physicians across the country are attending seminars that teach doctors how to start their own direct primary care practices. Direct primary care practices take no health insurance, only cash. In a recent survey conducted by the DPMA Foundation, 2 out of 3 doctors say they are “just squeaking by or in the red,” and 83% say they are “thinking about quitting the business.” With the looming threat of Obamacare, many doctors are planning to ditch the traditional business model for a more simple and straightforward one.

Dr. Jerome Aya-Ay from Palmetto Proactive healthcare in South Carolina uses the “Direct primary care,” model which is successful because it eliminates the bureaucratic hassle of insurance and lowers prices for the consumer.

Dr. Jerome Aya-Ay charges his patients via a price list similar to a restaurant menu. He also charges a monthly fee of $60 for routine services which most doctors cannot do. Listen to the interview below.

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Chiropractors have been using the cash only business model for many years and are experiencing great success. Dr. Scott Baker, owner of Upper Cervical of Spartanburg, S.C. said, “We started to go 100% cash in May 2012 and are experiencing great success, now we are moving into a state of the art facility 3 times bigger than our current venue, and we will be hiring a new doctor.” Dr. Scott said he is creating a patient-driven practice. His new clinic will have a “health-spa feel” with digital touch screens for patient check-ins, flat screens TVs, and a paperless office so he can have more time to focus on his patients.

The Heritage Foundation’s Ed Haislmaier said, “I think we are going to see primary care doctors increasingly moving to a cash-only arrangement, where they opt out of insurance rules.” The simple truth is that doctors want to get off the insurance grid not only because of the risky regulations and economic factors, but because they want better relationships with their patients.

Dr. Tom Kendall of Greenville, S.C., a practicing physician and the president of the Association of American Surgeons and Physicians said, “Obamacare is not about healthcare, it’s about control. Obamacare puts the relationship of the patient and physician under the jurisdiction of the government. This means more government control and less patient choice. Under Obamacare, healthcare will be rationed, healthcare costs will increase, and bureaucrats will decide medical treatments instead of the physician and patient.”

Upstate doctors who are moving to a direct primary care are creating win-win solutions for medical professionals and their patients. It would be a move from a bureaucracy-driven model which is enamored with red tape and creates a wedge between the doctor and patient, to a patient-driven model with no insurance interference, less government intrusions, and no wasted time dealing with paperwork. It is a model that will create lower fees for patients and will allow doctors to foster better relationships with patients. The real solution to healthcare is to give patients more control over their health care dollars, and unchain doctors from the shackles of government control and regulations.

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