Wednesday, September 3, 2014

(Related update 2): A Positive Unintended Consequence of Obamacare: The Rise of Concierge Medicine

Related update 2 (9/3/14):   Here's more good news along the lines laid out in the posts below: It's a map showing the location of a growing network of medical practices advocating free-market medicine and competition among prices as an alternative to the ObamaCare Monster.

The name of the network is the Free Market Medical Association (click here) and a major driver behind it is Dr. Keith Smith.  Here's an excerpt from a post by Mark Perry at his Carpe Diem blog:
Dr. Smith and his clinic are members of a growing network of market-based medical providers that belong to the Free Market Medical Association, a national group “dedicated to bringing together physicians, surgeons, providers, facilities, and support businesses; providing necessary resources to promote a successful industry; and defending the practice of free market medicine without the intervention of government or other third parties.
Kudos to Dr. Smith and all the other heroic participants in this fantastic endeavor!

Related update (4/13/14):  Given that the real aim of Obamacare is not better healthcare/insurance but, rather, the major socialization of a large portion of our society, it's not surprising to learn that there are provisions in Obamacare that can likely be enacted to stop competitive behavior.  From a brief American Interest article referencing a more detailed piece in the NYTimes discussing the rise of concierge medicine in the wake of the Obamacare Monster:
But now that Obamacare is swelling the ranks of the comprehensively insured, doctors who don’t take insurance are increasing the pressure on the system. There’s a hint in the NYT piece that other doctors think it’s irresponsible for their colleagues to stop taking insurance just as the Obamacare rollout promises to strain practices and hospitals past capacity. This bias against innovators is what happens when federal legislation cements a dysfunctional system in place. Doctors who want to experiment with new models of payment face social pressure to abandon these experiments because of policy choices made in Washington.
Original post (3/30/14):  From a CBS affiliate in Tampa, a news story focusing on the rise of concierge medicine -- which includes, in some instances, house calls! -- as a direct consequence of the Obamacare Monster:
Patients pay a flat rate similar to a retainer for care available 24-7. Price varies based on cost and services starting as low as $1,500 up to several thousand dollars a year.
"All exams EKGs, stress test, ultrasound, and there's no additional fees," explains Cooper.
Technology allows Cooper to do some of those tests at the patient's home without needing an insurance company's approval. Cooper pulls out of his bag a small portable ultrasound. The device is so small the monitor flips it open in his hand. Cooper says it's like something you'd see on the sci-fi series Star Trek.
"There's a lot of uncertainty in the medical world right now in insurance, with doctors and reimbursement. This is one way to mitigate that uncertainty," says Sullivan.  That kind of red tape is why Cooper says more doctors are making the switch to a concierge-type practice. "Nationwide, this is an alternative to a system that is going from bad to worse." [Emphasis Marc D. Street]
Click here to read more about this positive development in medical care.