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Utah

Part 5: Local doctor tries his own brand of reform

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  • Outsider
    Dec. 18, 2009 9:32 p.m.

    I know little about what goes on inside the medical profession, but I had this idea and thought it made great sense. Pay a membership fee and a nominal fee to see the Dr. for routine medical, and prevent things from getting out of control and expensive!!! Think about including a range of preventive services, too, from fitness trainers to mental health professionals -- put all the preventive and maintenance type care into a membership clinic and see the quality of life go up while expenses go down! I really love this idea and hope it does all that it promises to do.

  • re:eric
    Dec. 10, 2009 9:02 a.m.

    I dont get it, please explain you said "we had 33317 patient visits for 23262 differ patients in our area" huh? I recently went to my urgent care facility for an earache and it cost me around $150. If I went to Dr.V's clinic I pay $49. How do I save money going to your clinic?

  • Alan Ayers
    Nov. 2, 2009 1:33 p.m.

    Membership programs have their advantages but require patients to lock in to a monthly payment commitment. With a $5 co-pay, the clinic is clearly betting most months the patient won't use it, resulting in a higher average reimbursement per visit than what it could charge for a one-time use. For tourists and others seeking a single use scenario, Concentra Urgent Care on Redwood and in Sandy offers walk-in urgent care visits starting at $75 with no membership involved.

  • James
    Nov. 1, 2009 12:55 p.m.

    It is an awesome idea, hope it lasts. What if he misdiagnosis and the person sues him for a 100 billion dollars? That would mess up his cool plan quick! And it would mess it up for everyone else!

  • Floridian
    Oct. 31, 2009 6:55 a.m.

    this is not new to Floridians as we saw so many in each corner and $49 is a little bit high so a husband and wife say joined for 12 months its almost $1176 and how often we go to the doctor on average 3-4 times each say 4 each total 8 times for both that cost around $40 Plus $1176 = $1216 so its $152 per visit...wow...here cash price is $69/visit ....I don;t know how expensive in Utah..but here in florida the medical is so cheap but I congrats to dr who started in Utah glad its growing to all of the states...congratulations Utah people...

  • Eric
    Oct. 30, 2009 3:11 p.m.

    I decided to add another comment. I also work with family practitioners. A typical family practitioner can handle a patient base of 2000 patients. This physician is already charging $49 a patient per month for total of $19600 a month. If he expanded this to a typical family practitioner base of 2000 he would be bringing in $98,000 a month. On the average this is twice as much revenue as the family practitioners I work with bring in.These family practitioners are seeing these people for total medical care.

    This physician's payment plan is going to make him very rich.

  • Eric
    Oct. 30, 2009 1:53 p.m.

    I am the manager of two urgent cares. We had 33317 patient visits for 23262 differ patients in our area. From the article we provide all the services mentioned for an urgent care other than the well child and adult examines. For those patients we treated we collected a little over $4,000,000 for the year. Under this physician plan we would collect $49 per month per patient. That would equate to us collecting over $13,000,000 for the same services. I don't see how this plan is saving anyone any money.

    By the way most people I know would label me an enthusiastic captialist.

  • dave
    Oct. 28, 2009 6:43 p.m.

    Innovative thinking and production in a free market. The Feds will never consider such ideas because it takes away from them what they really want-CONTROL OF OUR LIVES!!

  • Finally some sanity
    Oct. 26, 2009 12:01 a.m.

    I like what I'm hearing a lot. Granted I would want to see his set up first, but it matches my specs, I would be his patient in a heart beat. He looks like a very personable person.

  • hurray!!!
    Oct. 25, 2009 10:12 a.m.

    Nice idea! I think this is what the American people want - just simple care for those times that you need a doctor.

    Over and beyond this - cancer, major surgery, long-term care - that's where insurance needs to come in.

    I like this - ALOT!

  • Doctor Noble
    Oct. 23, 2009 4:30 p.m.

    What a great plan! Way to go Dr. Vacharathone in helping everyone with options to standard insurance plans. This is a great way to be in control of your own health care. Bravo :)

  • anonymous
    Oct. 23, 2009 9:32 a.m.

    It is $49 per person per month and $5 per visit. From something as simple as diagnosing strep throat or the flu to something more complicated like needing stitches or fixing a broken arm it is simply $5 a visit. Try going to the ER and getting a price that low. If you ask me this is a great plan for someone who simply can not afford health ins and does not have major health problems. Or Someone who is financially responsible for a grandchild and their insurance will not let them add them on their plan.

  • Schroeder Baker
    Oct. 22, 2009 2:33 p.m.

    Ack. What some of you seem to have missed is that many people signing up for this have health insurance already, but the high deductibles and copays make this system more appealing for everyday care, while they still would use their insurance for catastrophic health issues. This good doc's program highlights a major problem with current health insurance (DUE TO GOVERNMENT RULES!): people can't just buy insurance for catastrophic medical issues while paying out of pocket or whatever for the services this doc provides. If the doofuses in congress would change the rules for what we can buy, and address the travesty of the malpractice lottery, the free market would cause a major improvement in what ails our healthcare delivery system.

  • Sounds good
    Oct. 22, 2009 12:39 p.m.

    It is $49 per person so for a family of 5 -- $245 a month. But if you have small children who have ear infections and colds, you are at the doctor a lot. It would probably pay for itself. I have only been to the doctor a couple of times in the last 3 years so not a really great plan for me. But way to think outside the box, doc.

    Government is already involved in the auto industry, banking, and housing -- they're not getting it right there. Why do we think they will get healthcare right?

  • How could this not work?
    Oct. 22, 2009 12:22 p.m.

    It seems so simple. Capitalism at its best.
    So, if I have a cough or cold, I pay only 49$ per month. Good thing I don't go see a doctor for things like that, I can save the dough.
    Simpsons watchers who already know Dr. Nick can give you a double bypass for $199.99!!!

    Let's see then, for the things that I would really go see a doctor for.....maybe cancer treatment, or some life saving heart surgery....how would we approach them? Minor details!!

    I'll need to investigate his plan a little further before I sign off on it.
    I believe the doctor is working in the right direction, though. I hope Obama gives the doctor's idea a thorough exam.

  • Webster
    Oct. 22, 2009 11:40 a.m.

    Where do I sign up?

  • Re: ummm..
    Oct. 22, 2009 11:18 a.m.

    PRECISELY! This doctor is engaging in capitalism. He is creating competition in the marketplace and hoping to profit from it. Bravo! This is the capitalistic reform for health care that is needed. If more doctors did this, competition would increase and prices would naturally drop. We need more doctors (the AMA needs to loosen the leash) and less government involvement. Everyone seems so shocked when some report is leaked that the government paid $1 a piece for nails but nobody even flinches when Medicare or Medicaid pays $1,000 for an MRI or $100 for a month of Prozac. These medications/services can be much, much cheaper but if the rate is essentially set by the government...why would a doctor charge less? On that note, I would wager that at least 1/4 of what you pay to a doctor goes to cover his/her malpractice insurance. If the government needs to become involved in something, how about tort reform?

  • Dean Powell
    Oct. 22, 2009 10:52 a.m.

    Good idea! I don't care if the doctor has profit in mind. Good for him. It is a great idea and affordable. Obama will break us! Please, please get some new blood in congress. Four years is too long to wait. I am in England right now and you don't want this system.

  • Oh Please
    Oct. 22, 2009 10:52 a.m.

    Good for Dr. Vach. He's done a wonderful thing. But even if I joined his network, I'd still be stuffing ever-enlarging envelopes full of money and sending them off to United HealthScam in the hopes that they'll remember me when I or my family gets really ill with something beyond an earache or a runny nose.

  • Jeditoby
    Oct. 22, 2009 10:33 a.m.

    We have a similar doctor in Tooele, who doesn't require a monthly fee. For a standard fee of around $50 a visit, the same examination/evaluation and minor treatment services are available for our family.

    Both of these solutions compare very favorably to health insurance plans, and compensate our doctors for the real work they do.

  • re: I like
    Oct. 22, 2009 10:24 a.m.

    "I wonder if it's $49 a family or $49 a person, though. For a family of five or more, that would be at least $100 and that money could go for food instead of possibly needing medical help"

    Uh, for a family of 5 times $49 is more than "at least $100". It would be $245 for the premium portion if it is $49 per person.

    This Doctor is at least using his brain but I tend to agree with "unfortunately" who said that the govt is not truly interested in better ideas. It is more about control.

    nobama says he wants a bipartisan plan and yet anytime anyone offers any ideas that are not his and/or the democrats they "wrong" and the ideas are branded "unhelpful".

    It is clear the grandstanding nobama just says this to sell you on the idea he wants "input" and "cost savings" and all the other "neat ideas" but really has no intention of putting them into the final legislation.

    I hope enough people realize this fact in time to stop this ploy for government control of our health. Once they have that they have excuse to control ALOT!!

  • ummm..
    Oct. 22, 2009 9:46 a.m.

    this doctor is doing what he thinks might be profitable. i don't think he cares too much about "providing health-care reform"..

  • YES!!!
    Oct. 22, 2009 9:31 a.m.

    This is going somewhere. More people need to step up, and prove to our government that we are smart enough to solve this problem. I had my doubts for a while, but I think maybe we CAN pull this off with out government help.

  • Unfortunately
    Oct. 22, 2009 9:20 a.m.

    This doctor/most of you have missed the point.

    Obama care is not really about providing cheaper/better care or covering the uninsured (the current bill in Congress will only cover 1/3 of those not formerly covered!!)

    Wasn't that the primary purpose of nobamas healthcare reform to begin with?

    Forget that.

    NO, THIS IS ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT GAINING CONTROL OF YOUR HEALTHCARE AND AS MUCH OF YOUR FREEDOM/CHOICE AS POSSIBLE. YOU ARE TOO STUPID AND NEED TO BE TAKEN CARE OF--AT LEAST THAT IS WHAT THIS CURRENT ADMINISTRATION BELIEVES.

    Seriously, does this government look like a government who cares about cost/spending? THE CURRENT ANNUAL DEFICIT IS CURRENTLY EQUAL TO THE LAST 4 YEARS DEFICITS....COMBINED!!!!!

    This entire charade is all just an act to distract while they put a health care bill in place that our own legislators will/can not even read/understand!

    They are distracting you with razzle-dazzle with one hand meanwhile the government is putting a rubber glove on the other hand to give you the worst proctology exam you've have ever had!! And it will never stop!

    Wake up!

    America is great just like this Doctors idea!

  • Jack
    Oct. 22, 2009 8:57 a.m.

    What about emergency care and more critical care? Long-term medical needs? Even on this plan a family would need insurance to cover those costs. For basic things this is great, but for the "big ticket" health issues we are still in the same boat. High cost out of pocket, or insurance companies sticking it to the patients.

  • NoBrainer
    Oct. 22, 2009 8:31 a.m.

    Move over elected officials-- get a clue from this Dr. who knows how the system works and what works for the people!!! This membership program is needed now for so many struggling!

  • Yes, this is good stuff and it
    Oct. 22, 2009 8:30 a.m.

    would work just fine with National Health Coverage too. You can have lots of systems that work good work together.

  • I like-
    Oct. 22, 2009 8:01 a.m.

    I like this idea. I like that the money goes directly to the company involved and the employees that do the work, and the reduced cost.
    I wonder if it's $49 a fammily or $49 a person, though. For a family of five or more, that would be at least $100 and that money could go for food instead of possibly needing medical help

  • Competition...
    Oct. 22, 2009 7:58 a.m.

    in medical care is the only concept that will solve the health insurance problem. For example, Lasic eye surgery has not been covered by typical insurance plans and as a result most patients pay for the procedure out of pocket. Providers began competing against each other, knowing there was price sensitivity in the marketplace, and the cost of the precedure has dropped substantially in the past few years. Same for cosmetic surgery. I hope that someday I can see doctors/hospitals competing against each other based on quality of care AND price. I look forward to the day when those nauseous Intermountain Health Care and Mountainstar tv ads mention that they can remove your gall bladder for $199.95. Capitalism Works! Thank you Dr. Vacharothone for providing another player (competition) in the market.

  • Martie
    Oct. 22, 2009 7:23 a.m.

    This shows that the market DOES work. 45 years ago, the federal government messed up the cost side of health care and eliminated transparency with Medicaid and Medicare and now it's trying to "fix" the "crisis" they caused with more government regulation and taking away our freedom to choose how we will receive the care, pushing us into "exchanges" and telling us what type of plan we MUST have (minimum coverage etc.) Get Govt OUR OF OUR LIVES, it does nothing but mess things up and make everything more expensive.

  • Anonymous
    Oct. 22, 2009 12:28 a.m.

    Good for Dr. Vacharothone! This is the sort of thing that could work and lower costs while delivering better care.

  • first
    Oct. 21, 2009 11:08 p.m.

    That is awesome. It is also very smart. Thank you Deseret news for sharing this.