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Dr. Kim Mulvihill ReportingAn increasing number of doctors and patients are fed up with health insurance and they're doing something about it. Dr. Kim Mulvihill reports on a growing trend sweeping the nation, that comes at a cost.
Dr. Yan Chin is a pediatrician with "San Francisco On Call", a group of board certified physicians who cater to a select group patients around the clock, twenty four hours a day. Some call this type of care boutique medicine or concierge care.
Imagine getting the VIP treatment, no more packed waiting rooms, no more waiting weeks or months to see your doctor. And your doctor has to fit into your busy schedule. Sounds good? Well, there's a catch. These doctors may do house calls, but they don't do insurance.
Dr. Jordan Shlain: “I went to medical school to be a doctor and to care for patients. I didn't take one class on billings, on insurance company shenanigans and the HMO grip.”
Dr. Jordan Shlain is medical director of “San Francisco On Call.”
Dr. Shlain: “We're really all about convenience for the patient.”
He is a member of a growing group of doctors - doctors fed up with the mounting paperwork, bloated patient load, and falling reimbursement rates.
Dr. Shlain: “The insurance companies were sending me checks at 20 percent of what I bill. It became just impossible to make a living.”
These physicians leave it up to their patients to get reimbursed from insurance companies. And that's not all. Some doctors are offering very exclusive care to an elite group of patients. There's a hefty initiation fee - up to thirty thousand dollars, and a yearly retainer.
Dr. Shlain says this may offend some Americans…
Dr. Shlain: “So a guy can buy a private jet, a Mercedes, a 20 million dollar house, but nope you have to get in line with everyone else in health care.
Not everyone believes this approach is good medicine.
Dr. Grumbach: “I have grave concerns that in the process of opting for a better lifestyle, a better income, that we are as a profession abandoning the need of the vast majority of Americans.”
By the way, the nation's largest health insurer just reported its profits doubled from a year ago. And a typical family physician's practice includes about 1500 patients.