How much is a primary care appointment worth? Not much, it appears.
Physicians in California decided to embark on an innovative idea, asking patients to simply pay them what they thought the visit was worth. Here’s how it worked:
On the day of the events, no insurance was accepted. Care was provided only to the uninsured, who were asked to pay what they could afford. Laboratory tests were provided at cost, and patients who needed additional services were referred to various public resources. Practices also handed out lists of generic medications available for reduced prices at large, discount pharmacies.
Physicians who accept Medicare are not allowed to include Medicare beneficiaries in any pay-what-you-can program.
Although patients did value the visit, they grossly underestimated its cost. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at KevinMD.com*