I was thumbing through stations the other night and on the show Huckabee, host Mike Huckabee interviewed a man named Dr. Muney. Muney is a doctor in New York who has a unique way of charging his patients - it doesn't involve accepting insurances like Blue Cross, Aetna, Cigna, etc. Instead, he charges all patients a flat fee of $79/month, regardless of what or how many services he provides in a given month.
Why hasn't anyone come up with this concept before?
Dr. Muney's customers are happy as they don't have to buy health care insurance, the fee is reasonable, and they are getting the basic care they want, and the doctor is happy because he can count on a set fee every month, and doesn't have to deal with insurance companies or the intricate billing procedures insurance companies require. In today's economy as millions of people are layed off and can't afford insurance premiums, this concept is absolutely genius, in my opinion. Cut out the middle man!!!
Let's do the math on how much a doctor can profit from this idea - if the average doctor has roughly 5,000 patients on record and charges $79/month, they will make approximately $400,000/month. One could offer a lot of services for that price!!! Let's do the math on how much each patient or business will save per month per person: the national average cost for health insurance in 2008 was $392/month, that's a savings of $313/month!!!
Now, one of the big problems I see with this particular plan is this doctor only takes care of services that can be covered in his office, so if you need surgery or after hours care you are out of luck. However, can you imagine how successful this concept could be if groups of doctors (obstetricians, otolaryngologists, radiologists, cardiologists, etc) teamed up and offered a full line of services to their patients for a set fee every month?
Additionally, this monthly flat fee concept would work very well for dentists.
Finally, a Private fix to a Public problem, requiring no public funding, slashing costs for patients, making healthcare affordable to ALL and a very lucrative idea for physicians.
Unfortunately, the state of New York is not happy at all with this doctor's concept. They consider his idea a form of insurance, requiring him to charge all his patients additional fees as they obtain services. Dr. Muney wants to just charge $79/month, but the state of New York is requiring him to charge an additional copay as patients receive services from him. Dr. Muney is fighting this in the courts and pioneering the movement toward affordable healthcare. As soon as the kinks are ironed out, I predict this plan is going to change America and reform healthcare.