Seattle Plastic Surgeon discusses how Obamacare will affect (or not) her practice.
There was a time about 10 years ago when I would have been totally stressing out over the changes coming with the Affordable Care Act a.k.a. Obamacare. But that was then and this is now and I’m not stressing out because I don’t think Obamacare is going to affect the way I treat patients. You see, I have not contracted with any third part payers – insurance, HMO’s, PPO’s, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. – for almost 10 years. The only financial agreements I have for providing patient care is with my patients.
Years ago, I withdrew my contracts with all the third party payers because of lousy reimbursements and even lousier service and most of all, their interference with patient care. Believe me, I tried to make nice with the insurance industry suits but after tearing my hair out for a couple of years, I just decided not to play any more and took my ball and went home. And now I am so glad I did.
My patients don’t have to worry if I am “on their plan” because I am not on any plans. And I don’t have to worry about signing lousy contracts that will put me back into the third party payer circle of hell I was in ten years ago.
I like to keep it clean, direct and transparent. You come in with a problem. If I think I can help, I let you know what it will cost. (Actually most of my prices are posted on my web site. Imagine that!) You pay me to operate on you. If your health plan may cover the procedure I am performing, we provide you with the information and documentation you need to take to your health plan for reimbursement.
This has worked so well for me for almost a decade and I cannot imagine going back. I acknowledge that my situation is very different that that of a heart surgeon or a family practice doc. But my guess is that in the next few years, more physicians will push away from their marsupial relationships with Big Insurance and Big Government and embrace a practice that allows for individualized patient care, high quality, transparent financial interactions and doctor happiness.
Thanks for reading! Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder