What is Free Market Physician?
Free Market Physician is a family practice doctor’s office that operates differently from other clinics in Neosho. Free Market Physician does not accept insurance and therefore is allowed more freedom to take care of patients. We guarantee same-day visits for enrolled patients. Our patients have access to their physician by phone on nights and weekends. They can visit the clinic as often and as long as is needed. This is possible because instead of billing insurance, we contract directly with my patients for their care. We charge a low monthly membership fee that covers all visits and services at the clinic, making healthcare simple and affordable.
What medical conditions are you able to treat at Free Market Physician?
Free Market Physician is a family practice clinic. Family practice physicians take care of individuals of any age from birth to death. My scope of training has been broad and I anticipate being able to address most patient concerns in my office. This includes preventative care, diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, obesity, ear infections, colds, and minor injuries. I am able to perform procedures such as simple laceration repair, osteopathic manipulation, pap smears, skin biopsies, and mole removals. For conditions that are not appropriate to treat at the clinic, I will refer you to a specialist of your choosing. Of course, emergencies will not be treated at the clinic, but sent to the emergency room. Doctors will not treat emergencies over the phone, however, membership includes access to your doctor on nights and weekends. I can give advice and even prescribe medications over the phone to prevent unnecessary trips to the urgent care or emergency room. At this time I will not be able to provide prenatal care at the clinic.
What is direct primary care?
Direct primary care is a model of health care delivery that is also known as concierge medical care, boutique medicine, and retainer-based medicine. In these models of medical care, patients are charged a periodic fee for access to their doctors. Traditionally this model has been very high-priced and affordable only for large sums of money. However, this has been changing in recent years as many medical clinics have adapted the model to reach a broader market. Now with new changes in the health care system, direct primary care is becoming even more popular: for doctors who want to escape the restrictions of the insurance-based industry and for patients who desire better care wish to avoid high health care costs. Direct Primary Care now stands as a viable alternative to the comprehensive insurance model. Many clinics, including the Atlas MD Clinic in Wichita are convincingly demonstrating that direct primary care is less expensive and provides better service than the insurance model.
Why doesn’t Free Market Physician accept health insurance?
Insurance makes health care more expensive. This is especially true if health insurance is used to pay for primary care. Billing insurance significantly raises the overhead prices of operating a clinic. It requires hiring additional personnel and purchase of expensive and clunky software systems. It forces doctors to spend more time documenting for insurance companies and less time seeing patients. By declining to accept insurance I am able to focus on practicing medicine and pass the savings on to my patients. My patients pay the clinic directly and they save money.
It really doesn’t make sense to use health insurance to pay for primary care. On average health insurance to pay for primary care must cost more than the medical care itself. If using health insurance to pay for your primary care, then your premiums must be sufficient to pay for your health care plus the administrative costs of administering the policy. Health insurance makes primary care more expensive. In addition, it doesn’t make sense to insure for a planned expense. Just as you don’t buy auto insurance to pay for gas and oil changes you should not use health insurance to pay for primary care.
Why choose Free Market Physician over a traditional medical practice?
Most importantly, I feel that Free Market Physician offers truly patient-friendly medical care. This model of health care gets rid of many of the hassles of our current medical system. No billing, no co-pays, no long waits, no more confusion about what your insurance will or will not cover, etc. It allows me to see you as often and as much as needed. It makes it possible for patients to reach me by phone on nights and weekends. Patients can get same-day appointments with me. When you come to the office you are personally greeted by me or my nurse and ushered directly into an exam room. In this system your time and your convenience are valued.
You may have other reasons for joining the clinic. Clinic pricing makes medical care very affordable. The model is great for businesses seeking to obtain quality health care for employees. The clinic uses a medical record system that is completely private. Your medical data is absolutely confidential. It will not be shared in national record networks and cannot be mined by insurance or government agencies.
Is Free Market Physician Membership considered health insurance?
Membership is not health insurance. It is very helpful in containing primary care expenses, but is not health insurance. I recommend that all my patients maintain insurance that will cover major medical expenses.
Does Free Market Physician Membership satisfy Affordable Care Act mandates?
No. Clinic members will have to obtain insurance coverage that satisfies the requirements of the Affordable Care Act or will be subject a tax penalty.
However, clinic membership makes insurance coverage for primary care redundant and can significantly reduce overall health expenditures. Patients with membership at Free Market Physician would be ideal candidates for inexpensive high-deductible insurance plans. They would also be great candidates for a plan with a health care sharing ministry. These plans are affordable and those enrolled in the plans are Affordable Care Act exempt.
How does the cost of membership at Free Market Physician compare to simply enrolling in the Affordable Care Act?
To answer this question, I would encourage you to get on the health insurance exchange (healthcare.gov) to get your insurance quote. Compare the cost of health insurance through the exchange to the cost of paying the tax penalty ($95 in 2014 or 1% of your income, whichever is higher) and to the cost of plans that are exempt from the Affordable Care Act.
To illustrate- I got on healthcare.gov and got quotes for health insurance for my family. I have a large family and the least expensive plan available to us was a bronze plan for $605 a month. That comes to $7260 a year. The plan has a $12,600 family deductible and $6,300 individual deductible. Office visits to a primary care doctor cost $40 and meds are not covered until the deductible is met.
Let’s compare this to membership at Free Market Physician. Membership would cost my family $200 per month. Now, membership is not the same as health insurance and I would still want insurance in case of catastrophic expense. I got a quote from a health care ministry (chministries.org in this case) for a bronze plan that costs my family $135 per month. The plan kicks in to cover an ‘incident’ that requires expenses over $5000 (this is different from a deductible-see their website for further details). Between Free Market Physician membership and a health care ministry plan I will pay $335 per month or $4020 per year. I will have no copay for any of my primary care visits, I will get my labs and medications at cost, and will have catastrophic coverage.
Compare the options. My family can get arguably better coverage by using a Health Ministry Plan and using Free Market Physician services for $335 a month. Or I could pay $605 a month for an exchange plan and still have copays and pay the full cost of meds (I am not sure if the plan I was quoted gives any lab coverage).
Do the math for your family. My family could save $270 a month and get better care. How much would your family save?
How do I sign up?
Click here to get the ball rolling.