Exigent Med Group LLC (Exigent) announced the launch of <www.SelfPayMD.com> (SPMD), a free online directory of quality, cash-friendly physicians and other healthcare providers from Monroe to Palm Beach counties for self-pay patients, as well as foreign visitors.
Participating medical and surgical specialists charge only $99 per visit, and, appointments are guaranteed within 14 business days (quicker, VIP appointments are available for a premium). Patients simply select a participating cash-friendly physician from the website’s directory and call the office directly to schedule a prepaid (credit card) appointment — eliminating billing issues.
Over recent decades, insurance companies have been paying doctors only about 20-25 percent of their billed amount. So, even before Obamacare, the self-pay healthcare sector began to grow.
Today, about 6 percent of primary care practices in the U.S. are self-pay models. In England, with its socialized healthcare system, self-pay healthcare models are growing at 5 percent per year.
“Although most ‘non-SPMD’ physicians will give some kind of discount, the trick is finding a reliable source for quality, cashfriendly doctors with published prices”, said Pete Okubo, CRNA, a co-founder of Exigent.
In addition, SPMD will list cash-friendly labs and cash-friendly diagnostic imaging centers with savings up to 70 percent off of the usual and customary prices.
Today, due to a confluence of economic, political and social issues, more and more uninsured and underinsured consumers are shopping around for affordable healthcare. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that under Obamacare approximately 8.3 percent of the people in the U.S. will remain uninsured — representing several hundred thousand people from Monroe to Palm Beach County. Additionally, there are hundreds of thousands more underinsured people with huge deductibles who will price shop.
Lacking market volume (muscle) to negotiate low prices, self-pay patients must absorb higher prices, haggle for a discount or go without. Further, increased insurance rolls, a shortage of physicians, and more government control of healthcare access will result in long wait-times to see a doctor. “Fortunately, being uninsured or under-insured does not mean one can’t pay for affordable healthcare”, said Efrain Arroyave, MD, CEO of SPMD.
For patients in need of minor surgery, this website lists cash-friendly SurgiCenters who are happy to work with self-pay patients. Self-pay patients simply call the SurgiCenter for self-pay pricing.
SPMD has teamed up with DevelopMED LLC with its knowledgeable executives who are experienced in launching, managing and promoting successful self-pay heathcare services, including www.econoLABS, which offers discounted labs to self-pay patients nationwide.
“SPMD will represent a limited number of physicians per specialty from each city in South Florida,” said Larry Chilson, DevelopMED’s CEO, adding, “there is power in numbers.”
For a small monthly subscription fee, board-certified, cash-friendly physicians can apply online for a listing. In the upcoming weeks Exigent will be increasing the website’s roster with groups of cash-friendly physicians.
“This business model has the potential to expand nationally,” Arroyave said.