In the New York Times “Well” blog, reported that an increasing number of physicians are no longer accepting insurance and requiring upfront payments.
The blog says that “efforts by insurers to rein in health care costs by holding down physician fees – especially for primary care doctors, who play a critical role in health care though they are among the lowest paid doctors – appear to be accelerating the trend, and some patients say it’s getting harder to find an in-network physician.”
Additionally, the article says that “though data on private physician practices is scanty, a new survey of 13,575 doctors from around the country found that over the next one to three years, more than 50 percent plan to take steps that reduce patient access to their services, and nearly 7 percent plan to switch to cash-only or concierge practices, in which patients pay an annual fee or retainer in addition to other fees.”
The cash-upfront trend raises an uncomfortable question. Can the Affordable Care Act, intended to widen access to health care, succeed by expanding insurance coverage if primary-care doctors are walking away from insurance?
IDAHO INSURANCE AGENCY
Paul King and Charlotte Hildebrandt
1650 Albright Ln #101
Boise, Idaho 83709