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Ed Yeates ReportingTwo Salt Lake health practitioners who say they are tired of what they call "the rat race" are dumping insurance in favor of a fee box at the front of their clinic. From now on, people will simply pay what they can afford, what they think the service is worth.
Chris and Greg O'Bryant still do well what they've been taught to do as licensed chiropractors. But as of this month, the brothers are making what they call a scary change in the way they do business. No more insurance! No more billing patients for services rendered! Instead, at the end of the visit, you pay simply what you can afford. And it's all anonymous. In the box, it's like a donation.
Dr. Chris O'Bryant, Chiropractor: "They put into the box whatever they can honestly afford for their care. It's not free care but we've found that people are honest and will put in what they can really do."
The O'Bryant's admit what they're doing is risky. Without insurance reimbursements they're relying solely on what's in the box at the end of each day. But for people coming here now for care, the box is just what the doctor ordered.
Ann Larsson: "For those of us who don't have insurance coverage for one thing, or it's limited on what insurance pays, we can't afford to keep coming."
Caryl Teigen: “I think I will save a lot of money with the plan.”
Ten, twenty, forty bucks? Doesn't matter anymore. The care is the same for everybody.
Dr. Greg O'Bryant, Chiropractor: “We have no idea of who put what or how much. And so that’s actually good for us because now we’re not worried about whether this person is paying me or is this guy giving me more money so I’m going to treat them better.”
The O'Bryant's worried the box might be an open invitation for people to take advantage of them. But so far, it hasn't happened.
Dr. Greg O’Bryant: “On the average, most people do put in a fair amount.”
Last month, Utah family physician Dr. Kim Bateman opened a new non-insurance fee for service clinic. While he has a set price for medical care, patients get a substantial discount from when the clinic handled insurance claims.