Health Insurance, Really?

By Dr. Greg Eckel, Naturopathic Physician at Nature Cures Clinic__________

The health insurance industry seems to be purposefully obtuse and complex.  As a recent conversation reveals it is also costly.  If you are responsible for your own health insurance you probably already know this.  If your employer carries the insurance you’ve probably seen the portion you have to pay for has been on the increase.

One recent example that I had to write about was around a patient needing imaging of their abdomen.  The insurance company confirmed they cover preventative screenings, however, if any positive finding (meaning anything that shouldn’t be there) would mean that the imaging would be deemed a surgical procedure, which they don’t cover any of the costs.  The procedure could cost upwards of $5,000.  My patient wouldn’t know if they had to cover the cost of the procedure until after they were woken up!! This is on top of a $600.00 a month cost just for the insurance to not cover a needed procedure!  Yikes!

Instead of ranting and raving about this, it got me thinking about other ways of going about delivering our healthcare.  I’m going to ask for some help and some brainstorming from you all out there in blog land though.  Health insurance drives up the cost of running this little thing we call Nature Cures.  We accept it for our patients as they have coverage and pay for it and should be able to use it.  However, as more and more stories like the one mentioned above come in, I’d like to explore some options.

I was thinking about our patients who pay out of pocket for our services.  Through creating a foundation, non-profit, some other vehicle (this is where I need your help to connect me to the people who know, perhaps you do?) where patients would get a tax deduction.  The entity would employ doctors to deliver care.  There would less transactions at the clinic.  This would possibly cut down on the amount of health insurance transactions we would need to do around here. And patients would get the care they need from our office.  Of course this doesn’t solve the above mentioned problem, but it does address the access to care for a lot of people to naturopathic and Chinese medicine care.

No need to worry if you are a patient of ours and have insurance coverage.  We aren’t getting rid of the benefit.  I’m just exploring some options with you all and starting a dialogue here.

If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them!  We really like creating around here and want to support you in creating as well.  Perhaps we could come up with a novel model that would help change health care delivery for the better!

2 thoughts on “Health Insurance, Really?”

  1. Dr. Eckel,
    The punitative pricing structure mentioned above(surgical cost charged to patient if scan has a problem finding) should be reported to state insurance commissioner. That kind of rule could could frighten a lot of people from following their doctors recommendations. What hypocrisy same test, just ends up showing evidence of disease. Washington and California have better consumer protection and Insurance Bad Faith Practices.
    David,
    Lawyer licensed in Oregon & Washington

  2. Hello,
    Your clinic came highly recommended to me and I am inquiring about your self-pay rates. I am currently uninsured but employed and seeking a skincare consultation. Namely, I am a 27 year old woman with recurring skin problems. I can be reached at… THANK YOU!

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