Doctor redefines visits with phone, e-mail

From American Medical News: Doctor redefines visits with phone, e-mail … American Medical News

It's an interesting story about a physician who has set up a practice based largely on cash payments (he accepts no insurance) for visits, phone calls, and e-mail communication.

Dr. Dappen charges $20 for a five-minute block spent on the phone and $25 if that time is spent in the office. However, he reduces his fees — $15 for a five-minute phone visit, $22 in person — if the patient sets up a prepaid account that allows Dr. Dappen to withdraw funds as services are provided. He said he doesn't charge for time spent doing the "back-end work," like faxing information or ordering a test after the conversation is completed.

It's an interesting concept.  I would agree that the current method of reimbursment isn't working very well.  Capitation didn't work so well either.  Most days, I would say that I spend 60 – 70 minutes talking with patients by e-mail or on the phone.  E-mail certainly speeds this up a bit, and it does provide a useful method of communicating quickly.    The fees for office visits seem inflated — until one considers the "free" care that goes on between office visits.  Perhaps it all comes out in the wash.  Hmmm.

2 thoughts on “Doctor redefines visits with phone, e-mail

  1. This was a very interesting article. It is interesting to see the different business models physicians are incorporating to improve reimbursement and efficiency. I’m a fourth year medical student entering a family medicine residency next year and I like to see how different docs are making the business work.

  2. This sounds like a great concept. However can a physician accept cash only from patients enrolled in Medicare or medicaid?

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