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Firm Claims its Access Cards Cut Health Insurance Costs

Ernie Shannon's picture
Physician care direct cuts health insurance cost

Physicians Care Direct offers access card that could dramatically reduce health insurance costs and provide affordable treatment.

It sounds like heresy. Annual physicals, screenings, and other services priced at the same cost as a monthly cell phone or cable bill; office visits for a low per-visit scheduling fee; and with no more complexity than paying for a gym membership?

Physician Care Direct is announcing what the company calls an “innovative solution: a program that changes the way people pay for primary care. By eliminating third-party intermediaries and administrative overhead employers, patients, and physicians all win.”

Plan that attempts to make health insurance affordable

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Physician Care says the plan was developed by doctors and offers physicians the means to provide patient services directly and affordably to employers and patients. The key component of the plan is an access card. The cards are not the equivalent of health insurance or any kind of medical discount, but function as private contracts for healthcare services directly connecting physicians with local businesses and individual patients. The company also suggests that if an organization doesn’t offer their employees health insurance, these entities can afford to give your employees a meaningful health care benefit.

Physician Care Chief Executive Officer Dr. William Lawson said, “We’re excited to offer this win/win/win solution for affordable healthcare. Physicians can spend more time practicing medicine and less time chasing reimbursement and enjoy greater professional satisfaction. Patients can access transparently priced, high-quality primary care. Employers can offer an affordable healthcare benefit and know that their dollars are going directly to patient care.”

In a news release issued Tuesday afternoon, company spokeswoman Mary Huff said Physician Care Direct’s goal is to make “it simple for physicians and their staff to offer primary care as an affordable, transparently priced subscription service to employers and individual patients.”

Medical access cards are not new. Pennsylvania offers a similar card advertised as a permanent plastic care issued to individuals who are eligible for Medicaid. In this care, the access cards are presented to the medical provider who used the card in conjunction with the state’s Eligibility Verification System to obtain real-time information on Medicaid eligibility.

Since September, Physician Care Direct has accepted medical practices in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, California, and Washington. Physicians Care Direct, based in Cary, North Carolina, was created by a team of people with backgrounds in clinical medicine, healthcare benefits and transaction processing.

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What about hospitalization - that's always been the biggest expense? What about labs, diagnostic tests etc? It sounds good, but a visit to the doctor isn't that costly anyway, compared to cost of drugs, testing and specialty visits. It sounds a bit hyped up..not sure you're getting all the 'bang for your buck' they're touting.
We appreciate the coverage, but we'd like a chance to clarify some of what you've written here before anyone else Tweets or shares it. Thanks.