Doctors Choose to Accept Cash Only

Doctors Choose to Accept Cash Only

Affording health insurance is one thing but finding a doctor that accepts your specific insurance plan is where the difficulties lie. If you obtain insurance and your doctor does not accept it, you are almost forced to find another doctor. This is unsettling for patients because they build a relationship and built trust with a specific doctor just to have to give them up and go elsewhere.

6-percent of Doctors are Cash Only

There are roughly 850,000 primary care physicians in the US. Roughly, 6-percent of those doctors have become cash only. For some, it is because obtaining payments for insured patients can be difficult and can take a significant amount of time. Another reason is due to the difficulty for uninsured patients or those with high deductibles to still not be able to afford an office visit or treatment for routine purposes.

No Expectations for an Increase in Cash Only Doctors

Expectations, at least as of September 2014, do not show any signs of this percentage rising. One of the reasons for doctors going to a cash only system is the high cost of overhead just for handling insurance paperwork. The system of using cash, debit or credit cards only and not accepting insurance lowers the cost of overhead, which in turn lowers the cost of seeing the doctor.

What this means for Patients

Patients that work with doctors that have opted out of taking insurance get a higher quality of care. This is because patients that refuse to pay cash are going elsewhere and doctors can spend more time with their patients. The increased concentration on patient care is comforting for many, but leaves those with insurance with a bad taste in their mouths because they built up a relationship with that doctor.

Introduction of Patient Assistance Programs

The introduction of patient assistance programs is attractive to some patients. This is because members are able to pay a flat monthly fee for unlimited care from their primary services. While this works for many, some still cannot afford the monthly cost.

Closing Thoughts

The increase in cash only medical care has risen only by a percent or so since 2010. In 2012, it was estimated that only 4-percent of physicians abandoned taking insurance. The reasoning for this is to make medical care more accessible for those that are uninsured while helping those with insurance to receive care faster and in a more efficient fashion. There are both pros and cons to this t

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