Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Do-it-Yourself Health Reformers

David Chase has a fascinating interview with Dr. Brian Forrest, one of the best-known proponents of the "direct pay" model of primary care. Here an excerpt from, "How direct primary care reduces primary care costs":
In an age of family physicians literally not being able to give away their practices, Brian Forrest has built a successful model that is similar to the age of Marcus Welby where there was a direct relationship between a patient and their doctor. Practices such as Forrest's Access Healthcare in North Carolina run unencumbered by insurance hassles.

As word of Dr. Forrest's direct pay practice has spread, he has had a constant stream of physicians visiting his practice so others could learn how he has a successful financial model, happy patients and a sane lifestyle -- something increasingly less common in the hamster-wheel model of primary care that is prevalent in current fee-for-service based primary care practices. Dr. Forrest runs a cash-only practice sees 16 patients a day at a maximum, works a 40 hour week and takes home more than the average family physician a year with a highly satisfied patient base that pays less than those in fee-for-service, insurance models.

Dr. Forrest embodies a rapidly expanding cohort of what could be called Do-it-Yourself Health Reformers. That is, they aren't waiting around for politicians to fix what is widely understood to be the broken facets of healthcare. Rather, through their own trial and error, they are refining care and payment models that are demonstrating impressive results...
(Read the full text of "How direct primary care reduces primary care costs" for more information.)

Genuine health care reform doesn't require more government control, but rather unleashing the creativity and energy of individuals in a free market.

Update: Chase has a related article at TechCrunch aimed at businessmen and entrepreneurs covering some of these same issues: "How DIY Health Reform Can Help You Win The Talent Wars".

Update #2: Welcome Instapundit readers! Please feel free to take a look around. Our full list of published articles and OpEds (including several PajamasMedia pieces) is available here!