Sunday, January 14, 2007

Boutique Medicine

Once I worked with a millionaire who called his doctor whenever he had a medical question. After becoming annoyed at this I asked him one day, “Your doctor doesn’t get angry when you call him?” He replied casually, “He is not talking to me he is talking to my money.” I struck upon an epiphany with his response, the only good health insurance to have is cold…hard…cash. Imagine having the ability to call your doctor anytime you want, as well as see him or her at your convenience. My local television station WSFA Channel 12 News did a segment about just that, called “Boutique medicine.” A Montgomery doctor by the name of Johnnie Strickland had decided to reduce the number of patients he saw from five thousand to five hundred. Those remaining 500 patients paid 89 dollars monthly for unfettered access to his services. I did the math, 500 patients equates out to 534,000 yearly. Dr. Strickland has not stumbled upon a new idea, but he has the right idea. In my opinion Dr. Strickland is probably fed up with Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medicare and Medicaid and decided to take a stand. There is no “Competition trick billing” for routine services and he is definitely not loosing money. This is the way insurance should be. Once it catches on Boutique healthcare in my opinion will usurp regular healthcare insurance and hopefully change the way things are done in America.


1 comment:

Sheila said...

Alex, I missed this story, but this is such an interesting idea. Thanks for passing it along. I think we get so used to doing things the same old way that we don't think that maybe there's a different way. I suppose a doctor would have to keep some ties to insurance companies should his or her patients need to be hospitalized.