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Author Topic: South Portland doctor stops accepting insurance, posts prices online  (Read 162 times)
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« on: May 29, 2013 06:36 PM »


What do the doctors on the board think of this?? I love it if you ask me!!  heart

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SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Dr. Michael Ciampi took a step this spring that many of his fellow physicians would describe as radical.

The family physician stopped accepting all forms of health insurance. In early 2013, Ciampi sent a letter to his patients informing them that he would no longer accept any kind of health coverage, both private and government-sponsored. Given that he was now asking patients to pay for his services out of pocket, he posted his prices on the practice’s website.

The change took effect April 1.


“It’s been almost unanimous that patients have expressed understanding at why I’m doing what I’m doing, although I’ve had many people leave the practice because they want to be covered by insurance, which is understandable,” Ciampi said.

Before the switch, Ciampi had about 2,000 patients. He lost several hundred, he said. Some patients with health coverage, faced with having to seek reimbursement themselves rather than through his office, bristled at the paperwork burden.

But the decision to do away with insurance allows Ciampi to practice medicine the way he sees fit, he said. Insurance companies no longer dictate how much he charges. He can offer discounts to patients struggling with their medical bills. He can make house calls.

“I’m freed up to do what I think is right for the patients,” Ciampi said. “If I’m providing them a service that they value, they can pay me, and we cut the insurance out as the middleman and cut out a lot of the expense.”


Ciampi expects more doctors will follow suit. Some may choose to run “concierge practices” in which patients pay to keep a doctor on retainer, he said.

Gordon Smith, a spokesman for the Maine Medical Association, wasn’t so sure, saying most patients either want to use the insurance they pay for or need to rely on Medicare and Medicaid.

Even with the loss of some patients, Ciampi expects his practice to perform just as well financially, if not better, than before he ditched insurance. The new approach will likely attract new patients who are self-employed, lack insurance or have high-deductible plans, he said, because Ciampi has slashed his prices.

“I’ve been able to cut my prices in half because my overhead will be so much less,” he said.

Read: Maine hospital charges insurance company colluded with competitor

Before, Ciampi charged $160 for an office visit with an existing patient facing one or more complicated health problems. Now, he charges $75.

Patients with an earache or strep throat can spend $300 at their local hospital emergency room, or promptly get an appointment at his office and pay $50, he said.

Ciampi collects payment at the end of the visit, freeing him of the time and costs associated with sending bills, he said.

That time is crucial to Ciampi. When his patients come to his office, they see him, not a physician’s assistant or a nurse practitioner, he said.

“If more doctors were able to do this, that would be real health care reform,” he said. “That’s when we’d see the cost of medicine truly go down.”


http://bangordailynews.com/2013/05/27/news/portland/south-portland-doctor-stops-accepting-insurance-posts-prices-online/
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2013 07:07 PM »

This is what mostly happens here, there's no insurance, doctors have autonomy, it's cheap, but these days the insurance model is gaining steam. As it always happens with "development", society adopts capitalism as its way of life.

Lately I've been arguing with people that we were better off without "development". Development and progression to me seems like you're moving away from physical hardship and getting into mental hardship, which eventually wrecks the physical body as well.
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2013 07:20 PM »

Lately I've been arguing with people that we were better off without "development". Development and progression to me seems like you're moving away from physical hardship and getting into mental hardship, which eventually wrecks the physical body as well.

I definitely agree that our current model of 'development' is leading us nowhere but trouble - we pay way too high a price for what we gain. Alternative development anyone?
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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2013 03:31 AM »

€300 or even €50 for emergency treatment of strep throat!?

Alhumdulillah for England, I get Strep throat regularly and pay nothing for the swift treatment of it.

What do the poor do in America, strep throat can be so nasty and left untreated has hideous consequences for me as I have a compromised immune system.

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2013 09:22 AM »

Salam aliakum

I have never wanted to work in the private sector here, mainly because it becomes about the patient's health insurance, fighting to get your money, not wanting to treat others because they dont have insurance etc...

Medicine is ultimately about helping people to the best of you abilities, and should not be dependent on their ability to pay you.  In the hospital system here, doctors get paid by the government, and so it is immaterial what kind of insurance the patient has/does not have, you give them the best care you can, it does not influence your pocket!

My limited experience with the UK NHS was very positive.  I saw very poor patients, and they got the very best care for "free". I hope it can continue.

Good health should not be dependent on your $$$ status.  But we know that this is the reality in most places.  I remember being shocked when someone on the board said they couldnt go to the dentist because their health insurance wouldn't cover it in the USA??? in the USA??? yeah, subhanAllah, the less fortunate non-millionaires everywhere suffer.

I like the old system, where doctors could make house-calls! and get paid with a chicken or some corn :-)

I like what this doc is doing, because he is free now to charge less if the patient cant afford.  Hope he keeps at it!
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2013 01:55 PM »


I'd pay with cakes, I don't have chickens (unless frozen chicken breasts are acceptable?)

I hate how consumer orientate the world is, everything and everyone has a price and it's hideous, basic common human decency is a rare thing.

The English health system is going the way of the US one, someone get the Tories out before they bring the country to its knees, I was reading in the paper this morning that the current welfare cuts have plunged thousands into poverty and unable to buy even food. This is the seventh richest country! For shame.

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2013 06:17 PM »

salam

I think there are free or almost free health clinics in the US where doctors work on a part time basis to help the poor.  Standard of care is not the same, but there is access.


I don't know why everyone is being anti "development" now.   The original intention of having accessible health care was and is still considered good.  How they got around delivering it is just not smart. Insurance companies' greed and government over regulation  are just costing lots of money and causing headache for patients and doctors.  They gotta come up with a better model or just revert to a fee for a service model.  



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« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2013 07:02 PM »

Anti development in the sense anti deceptive pseudo development. The kind of rubbish we're told is development. Real development is welcome.
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