Doctors In Revolt Over Obamacare Want To Be Paid Like Mechanics, Plumbers, Hairdressers

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Citing insurance regulations and Medicare changes that make it impossible for doctors to give patients the best individual care possible, Michael Ciampi, M.D., of South Portland, Maine, decided to turn to the free market and get back to a patient-first method of medical care.

As of this spring, the Ciampi Family Practice announced that it would no longer accept private insurance or government Medicare for its services. Instead, the healthcare provider would operate as a cash-only clinic.

“I went into medicine, particularly family practice to take care of people. Insurance regulations and ever changing Medicare laws are interfering with my ability to do this,” Ciampi explains on his website. “Also, the amount of paperwork I need to complete and new rules and regulations I need to learn and follow are now dominating the time and energy which I would prefer to spend with patients. The consequences for not obeying these rules and laws is substantial and could involve enormous fines, or time served in a prison.”

The doctor contends that government meddling has driven up healthcare costs, having an inflationary effect that is threatening patient health and doctors’ ability to keep clinic doors open in the United States.

“Because of the way the insurance companies and the government have interfered with the pricing of medical services, the prices have become overly inflated. It created a system where doctors were forced to charge far more than they ever expected to receive. Part of the bill goes to offset the administrative costs of cooperating with insurance companies, and allow for mandatory write off amounts,” Ciampi says. “By cutting out the middlemen, we cut out a lot of confusion, time, and overhead. If we know that we will actually be paid what we charge (like a plumber, bricklayer, or hairdresser), we can cut our rates dramatically.”

And judging by the price list for services on the practices’ website, the doctor is offering patients a value for his services, ranging from a $50 bill for a simple office visit for a cold or sinus infection to $250 for minor surgeries that may require stitches.

Ciampi says his colleagues in the healthcare business are handling what is observed as a nearly universal uncertainty about the future of American medicine in different ways. Some owners of smaller practices are selling out to larger healthcare providers, and some have opted to wait out the coming changes before making any drastic changes to the way they do business. But he believes other small practices will be looking to doctors attempting direct pay operations.

“Charging people what we feel are reasonable rates and working for them directly fits best with our values. We do not expect to get rich. We would like to survive and thrive. The direct pay model has been working well in other parts of the country,” he says on his website. “It should work well in Maine also. Many of the other solo physicians in our area will be watching us. They may make the same change that we are now if we are successful. “

And Ciampi is right. The impending Obamacare changes seem to have sparked a sort of revolt with healthcare practices similar to his all over the United States.

Ryan Neuhofel, D.O., based in the college town of Lawrence, Kansas, also runs a direct pay clinic and similarly offers a straightforward menu of services and prices online. His patients sign up for a membership with the clinic — which costs $10 a month for people under 29, $20 for over 30, and $50 for families of up to six people — and are then able to receive a handful of free health services and a gamut of for-payment treatments.

And last month, Reason reported that similar healthcare providers are getting started throughout the Nation:

This model is growing in popularity. Leading practitioners of direct primary care include Seattle, Washington-based Qliance, which has raised venture capital funding from Jeff Bezos, Michael Dell, and comedian (and Reason Foundation Trustee) Drew Carey; MedLion, which is about to expand its business to five states; and AMG Medical Group, which operates several offices in New York City. Popular health care blogger Dr. Rob Lamberts has written at length about his decision to dump his traditional practice in favor of this model.

The growing number of healthcare providers shunning traditional insurance coincides directly with government’s increasing hand in medicine, and for good reason. As Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has his own roots in medicine, pointed out earlier this month to the Iowa Republican Party: 122,000 new medical diagnostic codes doctors will have to use in order to inform the government about injuries are being perfected. The codes include line-items for “injuries sustained from a turtle,” “walking into a lamppost” and “injuries sustained from burning water skis.”

“Included among these codes will be 312 new codes for injuries from animals; 72 new codes for injuries just from birds; 9 new codes for ‘injuries from the macaw.’” Paul said on May 10.

“The macaw?” he went on. “I’ve asked physicians all over the country, ‘Have you ever seen an injury from a macaw?”‘

It is certainly safe to say that none of the direct pay clinics researched in the writing of this article offered a price for treatment of flaming ski injuries or parrot attacks.

HT: The Bangor Daily News 

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

  • juneboy

    that is very bad what they have done to medicare.my doctor (a specialist)said they may have to drop his patients because of that.The same thing with my pcp’ The doctors they have in their group are leaving

    • Smilee

      There has been no real changes to Medicare since 2004, the ACA added some coverage’s but changed nothing about how doctors are paid. In 2004 that law put in place a series of pay cuts for medicare but each time they came up to go into effect Congress voted to repeal the cut except the next one that they can not because of sequestration so the last cut under the Bush plan of 2004 will take effect. The doctor mentioned in the article from Maine says he only charges $50.00 for a simple office visit, Medicare pay $79.00, interesting he would give up Medicare and the extra $29.00 income from it, as he would have to do that as Medicare does have a process for claims and they must be done by the doctor’s office so I assume he has dropped medicare patients or still does file those claims which are simpler than most insurance companies. My doctor does it that way and has for some time and patients not on Medicare have to now get reimbursed from thir private insurance companies themselves. My doctor did not do this because of the ACA but because of the high cost of processing private plans whom require much more time and cost and actually it will get cheaper after the ACA takes effect as no insurance company will be checking to see if there is a pre existing condition etc which it has been so much involved now in the private insurance claim process and now no longer will. The AFC act is all about insurance and access and has little to do with medical services themselves and it does mandate coverage changes such as pre existing conditions that insurance companies and medical facilities will no longer have to concern themselves with therefore reducing time and cost for both. This is much more about government haters and the ACA as its whipping boy than reality. Doctors have been complaining for years about low Medicare payments and high costs of processing private insurance costs, this is not new and existed long before the ACA.

      • Vigilant

        The above profound remarks brought to you by a sage who claims that slavery was illegal in the original (pre-13th Amendment) Constitution.

        Take EVERYTHING he says with a BLOCK of salt.

  • C Pierce

    Obamacare was never about healthcare in the first place. Its just another enormous rock to carry on the way to economic destruction. Socialized med has failed everywhere its been implemented. Socialism was invented to destroy nations. It is MEANT to fail.

  • skippy

    My doctor ‘sold out’ to the local hospital a couple of years ago. He flat out doesn’t really care anymore. He has his NP do all female exams (and there is a new one every year I go for regular check up). I like the idea that Ryan in KS is doing! Good luck to him!! At 61….the health care situation is a little alarming…but thank God I am in good health. Welfare & aliens will make out fine…but working women like me….maybe not so much!!!

  • hungry4food

    Immigration Reform is Trojan Horse that will
    collapse the whole private healthcare system and make all of us Wards of the
    Obamacare system !!!!!

    http://patriotaction.net/profiles/blogs/trojan-horse-that-will-collapse-the-whole-private-healthcare?commentId=2600775%3AComment%3A6248351&xg_source=msg_com_blogpost

    The

    immigration bill introduced to the Senate a week and a half ago would,

    if passed, allow illegal immigrants to access state and local welfare

    benefits immediately, Breitbart News has learned. The financial impact

    of allowing potentially millions of immigrants onto state and local

    public assistance could overwhelm these programs’ budgets.

    There is a Ton of Info here at this link ,

    http://oneway2day.wordpress.com/tag/tony-newbill/

  • hungry4food
  • Bill

    Your normal health care is not about curing you, it is about selling you high priced drugs for therapies.

    I have a group of alternative healers that formed their own health care group and have only let in 500 people. So I can practice preventative medicine and actually cure a problem instead of throwing drugs at symptoms.
    Your Obamacare is about power and taxation. And the health care system will just get worse

    • Chester

      Your group has ONLY accepted five hundred patients? It appears they don’t really care about PUBLIC health, just how well they can line their pockets with the least effort. I am nearly ready to bet that not a one of those patients pays less than a hundred dollars a visit, with at least one visit a month the expected norm.

      • vicki

        One of the key differences between the “evil” group and your beloved government is the use of force. Government is forcing people at gunpoint to do obamacare. The group is using consent. Theirs AND the prospective patients.

        This is fully consistent with the 1st Amendment to the Constitution (Freedom of association)

      • Bill

        Typical Liberal comment. Good luck with your new obamacare

      • Vigilant

        I’ll tell you right off the bat, socialist, that Bill’s group cares one HELL of a lot more about public health than the pill-pushing quacks you go to.

        As for “lining their pockets,” typical anti-capitalist remark. What those patients pay for is to lead healthy lives, not lives addicted to symptomatic relief which is only temporary because the toxic synthetic drugs have TONS more deleterious side effects than any natural cure.

        So there you have it. More and more doctors have decried Obamacare for increasing costs and diminishing care, but Chester, instead of getting it from the horse’s mouth, prefers to put his fingers in his ears and hum. Talk about low information voter!

  • FreedomFighter

    “122,000 new medical diagnostic codes doctors will have to use in order to inform the government about injuries are being perfected. The codes include line-items for “injuries sustained from a turtle,” “walking into a lamppost” and “injuries sustained from burning water skis.”
    These codes represent data mining operations that will be used to increase insurance premiums or denied coverage of events deemed to expensive to cover. In addition, the codes will be used to profile, categorize, individuals, areas, regions for increased costs, material allocations, or denial of said services. Other more devious and horrific uses of the data mining come to mind also. Just think about it, and you to will come up with a few – like regulations for sports, new OSHA regs increasing business costs, banned access to wilderness areas…everything has to do with health, so everything can be regulated, fined and taxed.
    Laus DeoSemper FI

  • Wiley2

    It’s encouraging to see some common sense being injected back into the medical profession. Huge amounts of money started being wasted on administrative costs when government and insurance companies became middlemen, and tremendous price inflation has been enabled by the disconnect between the services patients receive and what they pay for those services.

    But if this trend toward opting out of the system strengthens, it won’t be surprising to see laws passed to make it illegal. The real goal of Obamacare, after all, is to gain power and control, and to transfer wealth to the parasitic bureaucrats in government and the insurance industry.

  • Elevenarrows

    Since starting our own business 13 years ago, my husband, eleven kids and I have been without medical insurance. Oh, we did our homework and interviewed insurance companies, but they wanted premiums of $2000/month for catastrophic coverage only and with a $10,000 deductible! My husband has a history of kidney stones requiring surgery. To use insurance, we would have had to spend $34,000 before receiving coverage for his surgery. It was smarter (and easier!) for us to pay for the surgery out of our own pockets. It cost us $15,000 cash which was paid BEFORE the surgery was performed.

    What angers me is that while I was writing the check for the surgery, many, many other patients were given a “free pass” and NONE of them spoke English. Ironically, the hospital employee processing our paperwork treated us with disdain when she found out we were uninsured. She was quite pleasant towards all the non-English speaking people living off the government dole. Only in America…

    Since we live without insurance, we go above and beyond to find natural remedies and avoid unnecessary medical treatment. We’ve worked hard to establish a rapport with our doctors. They offer advice over the phone and it is a rare occasion that we have to seek treatment. We eat naturally, use herbal remedies, grow our own food as much as possible, birth our babies at home and do everything we can to avoid needing medical care. I would love to see more patients and doctors squeeze out the government. The relationship between a doctor and his patient should not 1) be a triangular affair involving a third party 2) should not financially benefit a third party. Just as it is unethical for a doctor to force certain medications on a patient because the doctor might stand to gain financially from it, it should be unethical for the government to insert itself between a doctor and patient.

    • Bruce

      Good for you and your family!!! I too live a holistic and natural lifestyle, and have been for over 30 yrs. I haven’t had to even see a doctor, or hospital for an illness in the entire 30 yrs, and also haven’t had the need to pay those high health insurance premiums for all of those years. I calculated that I have saved well over $100,000 !!!! (Note: I get a full physical every 2 yrs., and there’s not a thing wrong with me, even though I’m pushing 60 yrs old)!!

      While growing up we have been taught that the answer to good health can only be accomplished through a complicated and costly process, that can only be administered by a doctor, using modern medicines (which I call the “magic pills”), when in fact the successful answer to good health is to go in the “other direction” and simplify, using good/clean food, vitamins, and herbs! I’m living proof that simple ….works!! Preventative vs. Reactive.

      If you (or anyone else) would like more specifics about what I simply do to stay healthy, and avoid getting caught up in the costly and unhealthy “modern medicine health plan”, feel free to contact me at healthregained@yahoo.com ,and let’s talk. I have already helped many others to regain their health the natural and inexpensive way.

      • Elevenarrows

        Bruce, I don’t doubt your results from the good choices you have made. I have seen this over and over again. The public has been duped into thinking the government knows more about health than the rest of us and I daresay, they know very little about it. They do; however, know a lot about operating a successful medical business.

        Just the one example of cancer treatment should be enough to convince everyone to avoid conventional treatment. Chemotherapy has less than a 5% success rate overall. When would 5% be considered good in any other venture–health or otherwise?!

        And, let’s not forget that the government has made seeking alternative (read successful) treatments practically illegal. I’d rather see the government going after illegal immigrants than to see Uncle Sam persecuting outstanding doctors who are willing to treat cancer in better, holistic ways. Isn’t one of the only constitutional functions of government to protect us from foreign invasion? I don’t remember seeing anything in the Constitution that gives the government the authority to come between my doctor and me.

        I wish you and yours continued good health…despite the government’s efforts to keep you ill!