What is “Third-Party-Free” Healthcare?
01/03/2019 1:45 AM
Gerard J. Gianoli, MD, Neuro-otologist
Third-Party-Free means that we do not participate with ANY third party (Medicare, Medicaid, HMOs, Tri-Care, Workers Comp, Motor Vehicle No Fault, insurers etc). Because we have no contract with any third-party payer, we have no conflict of interest with our patients. We are not subject to the coercion, restrictions, rationing and meddling in your medical care by bureaucrats – for the purpose of improving their profits or limiting care to meet cost-containment objectives (often at the expense of the individual patient). We are able to practice ethical medicine, based on our best medical judgment (in accordance with the Oath of Hippocrates) as opposed to practicing medicine according to the “substituted judgment” of a third party.
Why Would Anyone Want to See a Third-Party-Free Physician?
First of all, a “Third-Party-Free” practice may not be right for everyone. People have different priorities in choosing a physician. We fully respect peoples’ right to choose what they feel is best for them. A Third-Party-Free practice simply offers a new alternative to other choices currently available. What are some of the possible benefits of seeing a Third-Party-Free physician?
- First and foremost is accountability. Since a Third-Party-Free physician is not dependent on any third party for payment, Third-Party-Free physicians are accountable solely to their patients. The doctor works directly for you and for no one else – i.e. the doctor’s medical decisions are not influenced by Medicare or HMOs. This objectivity enhances Trust in the patient-doctor relationship. Third parties often require that a doctor adopt a conflict of interest with his patients. Certain third parties have even provided perverse financial incentives that work against the patient – such that the less care a “participating” doctor provides, the more profit he makes. Third-Party-Free doctors have no conflict of interest. Patients are their ONLY priority.
- Freedom To Choose physicians and treatments which you believe are right for you. We believe that patients are smart enough to make their own choices about their medical care, with the advice of their doctor. When you choose a Third-Party-Free physician, you and your doctor make all of the decisions, as opposed to a medically untrained and unqualified Medicare or HMO bureaucrat making a decision about what you can and cannot have.
- No Referrals Are Necessary to see a Third-Party-Free physician. Many third parties require complex referral forms and “permission” to see specialists. Patients are often subjected to unnecessary hassle and delay due to the “Mother May I” mentality imposed by a third party payor. While a referral from your primary care physician is always welcome, we believe patients are smart enough to choose the specialists and other physicians they want to treat them.
- Improved Access. As government and the insurance industry ratchets down physician fees to levels that will not sustain a medical practice, patients will have increasing problems getting timely access to care. At first, this will translate to longer waiting times to see your primary care doctor or specialist. In some cases, it will mean that some doctors may no longer accept any new patients or any new patients on a particular insurance plan. A Third-Party-Free practice offers no barriers to timely access to medical care – we are happy to see you in our office on a timely basis. Likewise, because of financial disincentives provided by HMOs, many patients are forced to incur long waiting times to get in to see a specialist. Another tactic being used by insurance companies is limiting the doctors that are “in-network”, necessarily creating a bottleneck and wait times – all to save the insurance company money. A Third-Party-Free practice offers timely access to care for HMO patients that is often not possible “in network.”
- Complete Privacy. Because our clinic is a non-covered entity under the new HIPAA law, all medical records in our office are kept private and confidential. Unlike other practices that are covered by HIPAA, our patient records are not subject to increased risk of disclosure to a multitude of snooping government bureaucrats, law enforcement, “approved researchers,” and others as allowed under the HIPAA law. We do not share your private, confidential medical information with ANYONE without your written permission, and we do not enter your private information into any electronic government or insurance database (where it may not be secure). We believe patients value their medical privacy, and in the Hippocratic tradition, we intend to make sure that your records are kept secure and totally private.
- Non-Interference in the Patient-Doctor Relationship. The patient-doctor relationship is the most important aspect of the practice of medicine. We believe that the highest quality of medical care is achieved when patients and doctors interact with one another directly (without Third-Party-Payors in between). In our office, we do not allow ANY bureaucrat to come between patient and doctor. We firmly believe that medicine should be practiced by physicians, not by bureaucrats. We also believe that patients are smart enough and should be empowered to make their own medical decisions, with the advice of their physician.
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