Exigent Med Group, LLC to Roll Out SelfPayMD in September.
Exigent Med Group, LLC announced the scheduled September launch of SelfPayMD (SPMD), the first of five medical offices in Miami-Dade dedicated to providing deeply-discounted, “direct-access” to board certified Primary Care Physicians (PCP) to self-pay patients. Absolutely no health insurance will be accepted.
Even the best health insurance companies pay MDs only 20% to 25% of billed amount, while the latter shoulders rising overhead and labor-intensive collection efforts.“We do not accept any type of health insurance,” said Dr. Arroyave, MD, CEO. “Credit/debit card payments eliminate paperwork, billing and collection staff, and the huge savings allow $75 visits for the uninsured.”
As a direct result of diminishing reimbursements and rising overhead costs (long before the Affordable Care Act, aka: ObamaCare), some PCPs refused government or private insurance, opting for a 100% direct- access practice model. Currently in the US, direct-access accounts for 4%-6% of primary care medical practices – and growing. Even in England, with decades of socialized medicine, direct-pay is growing at 5% per year.
“Understanding our market of self-pay patients, we don’t stop there; we also navigate them (as needed) to a network of independent medical and surgical specialists, labs, imaging centers and even SurgiCenters offering deep discounts to direct-access patients – a free service to our patients. Patients are seen by appointments and walk-ins. “Membership is optional, at only $250 per year for individuals,” said Arroyave. “We will also offer special membership pricing to families and employers with less than 50 employees.”
Although ObamaCare provides health insurance for the poor, many in the middle-middle class who don’t qualify for subsidies will be unable to afford health insurance. Then there are those who will game the system, providing false information to get subsidies, and some young people who will opt for the small penalty rather than pay high premiums. Further, those with mandatory high deductibles of $5K – $9K may shop around for low, “out-of-pocket” prices. The government estimates that about 4 million people, or 1.2% of the population, will wind up paying the penalty tax rather than purchase health insurance. Healthcare experts believe that number is way underestimated, as there will be millions flying under the radar – without insurance.
Increased insurance rolls, a shortage of physicians, and more government control of healthcare access will result in long wait-times to be seen by a PCP. ObamaCare will add 32 million patients to the insurance rolls, and, by the government’s own admission, they expect a shortage of 52,000 PCPs by 2020. Even with the full implementation, they also predict that over 30 million people will remain uninsured (you read correctly)! This will lead to congestion.
Today in Massachusetts, with its mini-ObamaCare, the wait time to see a PCP is about two months; and, if patient care at VA Hospitals is an indication of things to come from more government involvement in health care, long appointment wait-times will be the norm. “Thus, many insured patients who want to be seen quickly will come to SPMD, even if they have to pay a small out-of-pocket fee,” said Chris Merlano, a senior executive with SPMD.
Corporate America is taking notice of direct-pay primary care models. “People will always need PCPs, regardless of recession or inflation. This is an opportunity for serious investors,” said Larry Chilson, a senior executive with DevelopMED since 2006.