Concierge Doc Shows Way to Lower Health Care Costs

By Purcell, Tom | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 26, 2018 | Go to article overview

Concierge Doc Shows Way to Lower Health Care Costs


Purcell, Tom, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


As physicals go, it was the most thorough I'd ever gotten.

My new primary care doctor is a "concierge" doctor. Much like small-town doctors years ago, he isn't paid by a third-party insurance firm. He's paid by me, directly, at a reasonable $115 monthly.

If I get a cold, sprain an ankle or have any kind of issue, he's a phone call, email or text message away. He isn't just a doctor. He's a knowledgeable collaborator guiding me to my very best health.

He's saving me a lot of money by guiding me to other cash-only services. I paid about $100 for a CT heart scan, $150 for a detailed scan of my arteries and bones, and another $100 to a large clinical laboratory for an exhaustive review of my blood (cholesterol, etc.) that would have cost hundreds if I'd attempted to pay the lab directly.

For $350, I was able to have a thorough evaluation of my body -- and discover it's in pretty good shape -- which is something everyone 50 or older should be able to do.

More doctors are going the concierge route -- to their benefit and patients' benefit alike. They're doing so because our health insurance system is a giant mess -- a giant cost mess, to be precise.

As a self-employed writer, I've seen my premiums soar. My "bronze" policy cost me nearly $500 monthly, and I had to pay the first $6,000 in costs before the insurance kicked in. Millions who purchase individual insurance have experienced similar pain.

So I dropped the health insurance policy and weaved together a different strategy.

First, to protect against a catastrophic incident, I joined a Christian health-cost-sharing service. …

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Concierge Doc Shows Way to Lower Health Care Costs
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