One of my M.D. clients who is also a psychiatrist in private practice decided in the summer of 2013 to only see private patients, not only because of the mandated EMR issue but because we were at the point of having to add another full-time employee just to deal with all the managed care and internet generated paper. Computerized programs do not decrease paper and increase staff time when you consider EMR plus the electronic payments, electronic remittances and trying to keep the checking account in agreement with payments that are supposed to be deposited.
He does negotiate fees with patients, fees are always paid or he doesn’t see that patient any more, he has a lot more money in the bank, there is so much less hassle and patients love the total attention he is able to give them. Said he wished he’d done it sooner.
I have drawn a line in the sand and no longer will no longer seek medical treatment from a physician who uses EMR’s. I want a doctor to see and talk to me, not a person who only has time to do data input.
Yes, I couldn’t agree with you, or him, more. I may try that direction, but I live in a somewhat isolated, underserved area with a relatively small population of people who could pay out of pocket. OTOH, I’m the only shrink left in the area, and I get my patients well, and many might be willing to pay to of pocket.
Certainly, in my specialty, it’s an added bonus that people are more likely to really do what’s necessary to get well if they are paying out of pocket, an old truism that fits human nature and is born out in my experience.
I had a practice largely like that years ago, and the whole procedure was very smooth and clean. They paid at the beginning of the visit, and I gave them a letterhead receipt with the date, diagnosis, billing code and fee. It was their responsibility to submit that to their insurance company if they wanted to, and to haggle with them to get reimbursed. Very clean.
Now, try that with major surgery.