This post will provide five alternative strategies as a practical way to bypass the long lines for medical rationing and dodge the Obamacare bullet.
The federal healthcare takeover will worsen the primary care physician shortage that exists today, as 14 million new people become taxpayer funded patients by 2014. Finding a good doctor at an affordable price is therefore an important matter.
Some doctors do not accept insurance or Medicare. Some may have a hybrid practice where they will accept insurance but you have to do the legwork to claim reimbursement. You can find anything from primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, and even surgeons who fit this model.
Cash-only doctors can also afford to spend more time with each patient and focus on their care without interference from bureaucrats or insurance executives. Plus, they are free to work as doctors and not as intermediaries between patients and insurance companies.
You can look for cash-only doctor locally on your own using www dot simplecare dot com.
Strategy 2. Membership Has Its Privileges using Concierge Medicine.
Concierge or direct primary care practices use a membership based approach to comprehensive and preventive care on demand. In 2005, only 500 practices followed this structure; today over 5,000 do.
You pay a monthly fee, sometimes as low as $49 and benefit from unrestricted access to your doctor. You can use the services as much or as little as you want. Many practices are open seven days a week, offer same day, or next day, appointments and some memberships include house calls or physicians on call by phone and email around the clock.
Doctors save on overhead by eliminating insurance claims and it also allows them to provide quality service to only a few hundred patients a year – compared to the thousands of patients needed in a high volume insurance or Medicare dependent practice.
This means your office visit is not rushed, you do not waste time in the waiting room, and your appointment can last half an hour or longer directly with your doctor. More time equals better health for you.
To find a concierge doctor in your area, check out www dot mdvip dot com which is one of the largest networks for concierge practices when in the nation.
Strategy 3. Decrease Your Wait Time and Incur Less Cost using Urgent Care Centers.
People can literally die while waiting to be seen by a doctor. If you are in severe discomfort or pain, consider rushing to your local Urgent Care center instead of a typically backlogged hospital.
In addition, many people do not realize Urgent Care centers have convenient hours and can handle many routine medical concerns from fractures, STDs, and flu, to vaccinations, annual physicals, and more.
Urgent care centers tend to offer services for much less than hospital emergency rooms. And as suggested earlier, if you are paying cash, you can negotiate for better rates.
There are approximately 8,700 urgent care centers nationwide. They are easily found online or in your phone book.
Strategy 4. Treat Minor Ailments in Retail Stores using Convenient Care Clinics.
Convenient care clinics, also called retail clinics, are located inside big box retail stores, supermarkets, and pharmacies. You can get a prescription quickly and take advantage of health screenings, preventive care, or vaccinations while doing the household shopping.
These clinics are growing in popularity because of their convenient hours and the quick, affordable care for routine ailments they provide. They are typically staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Sometimes doctors are also on staff to treat typical illnesses such as ear infections and minor injuries.
You can find a convenient care clinic at select Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, Target, Safeway, and Kroger stores.
Strategy 5. Get Cured Outside the USA using Medical Tourism.
American medical tourists seek treatments not fully covered by their insurance or take advantage of lower costs for dental care and cosmetic surgery. The advantages of foreign medical services are numerous. The cost savings make medical tourism a feasible alternative for the uninsured and often as well for insured patients who run into coverage limits, high co-pays / co-insurance, denials, and other brick walls.
How medical tourism will change when Obamacre overtakes the medical system is not known but it could very well grow in popularity. What we may see are more Americans looking abroad for quality care at world-class centers in India, Thailand, Mexico, or Singapore because they do not want to wait to receive service in the US; such is the case for many Canadians who come to America for medical treatment despite having universal medical care at home.
You can learn more about your options for medical tourism at www dot medicaltourismassociation dot com.
When Obamacare takes full effect, let’s hope these surviving components of free market medicine are not squashed or outlawed under the false pretense of fairness. For the time being, you can exercise your free choice in medical self-reliance by knowing about and possibly adding the flexible options above ... in addition most of us still need to take steps to improve our health and many desire to slow aging to the extent we can and to live longer.
As mentioned in a previous posts on this blog, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent at CNN, has reported that “Practical Immortality may now be within our grasp.”
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Finally, I would like to thank Lee Bellinger of Independent Living as he was the source of some of the material provided in this post.
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