Are cash-only medical practices only limited to the wealthy?
When you think about it, how much care does the average patient really need? Over at Better Health, Val Jones writes that 75 percent of patients require an average of 3.5 office visits annually for all the medical care they need. That works out to about 1 hour of a physician’s time per year.
How much is that worth? Well, the going rate is about $300. For a year.
And when you consider that, also think about the typical health care premium, which is often much higher than $300. Per month.
The reason why people aren’t going to cash-only practices is a matter of mindset, says physician Alan Dappen.
“People have been conditioned to believe that if they pay their insurance premiums, then healthcare is’free,’” writes Dr. Dappen. “In reality, their employers are taking out $3600 or more per year from their paychecks for this’free’ care. But since employees don’t see that money, they don’t miss it as much.”
Right now, the penetration of cash-only practices is relatively low. For instance, in southern New Hampshire where I live, there are none that I know of.
Perhaps if patients knew that a majority of them can actually save money by seeking cash-only care, the demand, and subsequently the proliferation, of such practices can increase.