The Ministry of Lisa Copen

Lisa Copen, Founder of Rest Ministries which serves the chronically ill, shares about mothering, illness, ministry and more.

Doctors Try to Ease Financial Worries of Chronically Ill

With the rising costs of medical care, loss of jobs and more I was glad to see how doctors are personally trying to help out this stress.   Sandra Bodman of The Washington Post, writes about this in an article, “Doctors trying to ease their patients’ financial pain”

Doctors are encountering more patients struggling to pay for care. Some doctors have responded by selectively cutting their fees or devising novel payment arrangements; others have taken a harder line on billing and are sending more overdue accounts to bill collectors.

Although groups such as the American College of Physicians do not specify how much charity care members should provide, many doctors say they feel a responsibility to help strapped patients, particularly those with whom they have long-standing relationships. Some say assisting patients pays dividends in the form of loyalty, which will benefit them once the economy recovers. For others, such efforts may stem an exodus of consumers at a time when elective procedures and visits to doctors’ offices are down.

So far, none of my doctors have volunteered to lower their prices, but I have not expressed the need or expectation that they would. Most of my doctors, I believe, are struggling financially themselves.

Regarding those with chronic illness, the articles goes on to address this, explaining one doctor’s solution for now:

Family physician H. Lee Adkins of Fort Myers, Fla., recently launched a novel plan to counter the growing no-show rate among patients with chronic illnesses: a $75-per-month fee that entitles patients to a basic package of services including more than a dozen office visits per year, simple lab tests and many vaccinations. Patients are required to sign a one-year contract. Why $75? “That’s the same amount people spend on a monthly cable bill,” Adkins says.

What has been your experience?

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  autoimmunelife wrote @

I am incredibly grateful for my rheumatologist, who knows I am on state aid for some medical (though only a few places in the area take it) and unless she has to do an indepth appt will charge me the lowest cost appt type she can – I end up paying $$0 something for an appt instead of a few hundred. I think it probably helps that she’s in a big orthopedic group (and one of only two rheumys in the area, the next closest ones are 4 hours away) so there is more profit going into paying rent and such…
J –

  BarbaraRyan wrote @

I find a big part of my healthcare expenses are my brand name maintenance meds, like singular and nexium. My doctors have been great with giving me free samples. Otherwise, they would be $45 a month EACH!, which I can’t afford as a single woman.

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