Just last week this same patient called me up first thing in the morning: He was in severe pain.
“Dr. Josh, I’m ready for that MRI.”
So I immediately made the call to a local lab technician, because I wasn’t fifteen minutes behind my third appointment scheduled for the first hour of my day like most doctors working within the traditional fee-for-service model.
Because of the relationship I’ve built with the lab, my patient owed only $400 for the MRI, instead of the out-of-pocket cost of $1,500 that’s billed standard.
Within 45 minutes, my ailing patient was leaving the lab. Within a few hours, I was reviewing the results.
But critics are probably shaking their head, wondering why this man would want direct care when he’s currently insured.
Well, the thing about insurance is that in almost all cases, patients need to meet their deductible in order for insurance to cover things like MRIs. An Obamacare silver plan comes with a $3,000 deductible – twice the amount due! If they went to the same lab and used their insurance, they would owe $1,100 more out-of-pocket.
And they would still owe that monthly insurance premium that’s really only there in case of major trauma.