FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: How does this work?
A: Our approach is a return to a traditional fee for service healthcare, re-establishing the doctor-patient relationship. Historically, a doctor and a patient would work together to find out the cause of a medical problem, and then decide together how best to treat that problem. Because the relationship was between the doctor and the patient, the doctor would receive the compensation directly from the patient for the treatment provided, much as a plumber is paid by a homeowner for “diagnosis” and “treatment” done to a leaky faucet. There’s no insurance company deciding for you whether or not you have a leaky faucet, or whether or not the plumber gets paid for fixing it – the decision is yours.
Q: How is this different from the typical conventional insurance-based approach?
A: In the typical conventional insurance-based practice, the insurance company inserts itself into the middle of the relationship between the patient and the doctor. In this approach, the patient sees the doctor, the doctor and the patient come up with a plan, and then the patient and doctor request permission from the insurer to proceed with the plan.
In some cases, the insurer gives permission (also known as “Prior Authorization”) for the doctor to proceed with the treatment. The doctor and patient then proceed with the treatment, and the doctor sends a bill to the insurer for payment for the treatment.
We believe that these decisions should be made by the patient and the doctor together–not by an insurance company. Decisions regarding care can be made strictly between patients and providers without any insurance interference.
Q: Why should I, as a patient, see a doctor who asks me to pay for my treatment myself rather than one who asks the insurance company to pay for treatment?
A: There are many important advantages to using this approach including the following three: 1) Complete preservation of the doctor-patient relationship; 2) Cost savings; and 3) Fairness/transparency.
Q: What does it mean that “the doctor-patient relationship is re-established”?
A: This means that healthcare decisions are between the doctor and the patient without any interference from an insurance company.
Q: How does this approach decrease cost and save money?
A: Our pricing guide allows us to cut out extra administrative costs, which allows us to pass that savings on to you.
Q: What does any of this have to do with fairness?
A: Too often patients are blind-sided by the costs that they don’t see coming as it relates to their healthcare. By eliminating barriers and restrictions imposed by insurance companies, we are able to give patients a line-by-line cost breakdown. There are no “hidden fees,” and patients can know exactly what they will pay before they walk out the door.
Q: What if I agree with this approach, but I don’t have the cash to pay for treatment up front?
A: All our patients have three options for saving on their healthcare costs. Each option offers a different level of savings:
- Parasail Health Payment Plan: We are able to offer patients as much as a 60% discount compared to standard insurance rates. Visit parasail.com or talk to us to learn more.
- CareCredit Payment Plan: Since they charge lower financing fees, we’re able to offer even more savings through CareCredit. Visit CareCredit.com or talk to us to learn more.
- Med Plan
- Proceed Finance
- Major Credit Card/Check: Using a check or a credit card offers you the highest level of savings possible by further reducing administrative costs.
Q: What if I pay for treatment up-front, but there’s a problem or a complication that requires additional surgery. What options do I have in that case?
A: CosmetAssure is an affordable complication insurance option that we offer through our practice. This is particularly helpful for patients who are uninsured or who are undergoing a cosmetic procedure. Visit www.cosmetassure.com or talk to us to learn more.
Q: If I need surgery, how does this payment approach affect the cost of the surgery? Does it include the cost of the operating room and the cost of anesthesia?
A: The pricing that we offer applies to the Professional fee, which is the surgeon’s portion of the cost. The Anesthesia fee and the Facility fee (the cost of using the operating room) are billed separately by the hospital or surgery center, with one exception related to cosmetic surgery. Cosmetic surgery fees are paid to our office and are comprehensive. This means they include both the Anesthesia fee and Facility fee.
Q: Why have I not heard of this approach before?
A: This approach to healthcare service payment was pioneered by Ziv Peled, M.D., a peripheral nerve surgeon in San Francisco, as well as members of the Free Market Medical Association (FMMA). It is a growing movement within medicine to make healthcare affordable and to restore cost fairness in the delivery of healthcare. While this approach has gained much traction in other parts of the country, it’s relatively new to Nebraska. We’re excited to offer this approach to our patients as we search for new solutions to improve the way healthcare is delivered.
Please ask one of our team members, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional questions, or to learn more about our payment methods. We are ready and excited to help you navigate your experience with us, and look forward to taking care of you.