The underbelly of the insurance industry came into view earlier this year in New York. Here’s a great summary, stolen directly from histalk2.com. Look at the conclusive sentence:
A NY physician, concerned by the number of patients losing their jobs and health insurance, begins offering patients a flat $79 a month fee that covers unlimited preventive visits and onsite medical services such as minor surgery, physical therapy, lab work, and gynecological care. State insurance officials notify him his model is not legal and for sick visits he must charge enough to cover his overhead, which he estimates to be $33. The state insurance officials claim the rules are meant to protect consumers. Hmm … sounds perhaps like the officials are trying to protect the insurance companies, but what do we know?
Insane. Note that this provider estimates his per-visit overhead costs to be $33. That seems awfully low to me.
I don’t think that concierge medicine is the solution to the myriad healthcare problems in this country, but there are certainly elements of it that make a lot of sense, especially in the primary care arena.