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One Price, One Surgeon

Tea Nguyen, DPM discusses how Direct Care offers transparent pricing for surgical care benefiting those who are uninsured, underinsured, self-funded, and healthcare sharing ministries who are looking to save money and time for quality care.

June 25, 2024

Anna underwent an elective foot surgery with her podiatrist at a local hospital.

Using her “very good insurance,” her out-of-pocket pay was close to $10,000.

Less than 10% of that went to her surgeon and the rest covered the hospital charges.

Anna received great care and had a great outcome but her bill was quite a surprise. 

 

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Anna returned to have the same procedure on the other foot but this time Anna no longer had insurance.

She chose a surgeon who could perform the surgery through a minimally invasive technique avoiding the usual hospital costs.

Her out-of-pocket cost for the same procedure with the same outcome was 50% less.

She didn’t have the added expense of a monthly premium or copay, nor did she have to worry about the upcharges typical with insurance contracts. 

 

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Her surgeon received 100% of the charge, which helped maintain the business that served the community.

This surgeon does not make the kind of money that insurance CEOs make, so it’s not funding another private jet, and she does not withhold high-level care waiting on prior authorizations.

If the patient needs medical and surgical care, she will receive it without those unnecessary barriers typical with insurance, all the while saving money and having a closer relationship with her surgeon who only works for patients. 

 

“Less than 10% of that went to her surgeon and the rest covered the hospital charges.” – Tea Nguyen, DPM

 

Anna saved at least $5000 for elective foot surgery by going to a direct care podiatrist who provided surgery with equivalent outcomes and less financial strain on the patient.

Not having insurance does not mean you cannot get quality surgical care.

I am Anna’s podiatrist and know there are many more Annas out there to serve who may not know about the benefits of Direct Care for surgeries. 

 

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Direct Care Specialists are offering another option for medical and surgical care.

It’s old school medicine, preserving the sacred relationship between the doctor and patient, before the explosion of third-party payors.

It’s an attractive option for people who are uninsured, underinsured, self-funded, and for healthcare sharing ministries who know the value of working directly with their doctors for non-emergent care, and can often prevent those emergency visits.

Direct Care offers one price and one surgeon, whereas insurance offers many prices and many administrators between the patient and surgeon.

 

"I am Anna’s podiatrist and know there are many more Annas out there to serve who may not know about the benefits of Direct Care for surgeries."
Tea Nguyen, DPM
doctorsonsocialmedia.com

 

Transparent pricing is what will empower consumers to shop around and it will demand competition for health care services.

Without it then predatory billing practices (upcharging since no one knows the price of anything) become the norm, bare minimum care often prevails, and patients receive surprise bills they may not be financially prepared for.

What’s worse about surprise bills is that they will subject millions of Americans to file for bankruptcy even when they have health insurance.

To me, transparent pricing falls under the Hippocratic Oath to not harm, in any way including financially. 

 

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It is very hard, if not impossible, to undo the complex web that is corporatized healthcare but empowering people to know they have options including self-paying for surgery can actually save them money and time in the long run.

For those who are relatively healthy and use health services minimally, downgrading to catastrophic health insurance and paying out of pocket for as-needed elective services can save thousands of dollars in the long run.

 

"Transparent pricing is what will empower consumers to shop around and it will demand competition for health care services."
Tea Nguyen, DPM
doctorsonsocialmedia.com

 

For those who want more time with their doctor to fully understand their medical situation and can’t wait for months to get an appointment, Direct Care can often accommodate their patients immediately or within the week.

Direct Care is a VIP experience without the VIP prices. 

 

Price transparency makes it easy for people to be financially prepared, shop around, be fully consented to available options, and it is the most ethical thing surgeons have to offer to ensure we do not harm patients financially. 

Tea Nguyen, DPM (Aptos Headshot Photography)

Tea Nguyen, DPM

Direct Care restores the patient-physician relationship by simplifying access to care.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. For more information, or to submit your own opinion, please see our submission guidelines or email opmed@doximity.com. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Find out what we’re looking for here and submit your writing, or send us a pitch.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Submit your own article now here.

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