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 2019 by Arti Thangudu, MD

  • Arti

Why I Stopped Taking Insurance

Updated: Mar 27, 2019





As physicians and patients, we are in a dangerous place at the whims of insurance companies. When I looked around in private practice, I saw what my future could look like, and it was not at all what I had pictured as a bright-eyed medical trainee. Patients and doctors, while integral to the system, seemed to be of the least importance. Patients and physicians were so disconnected. I was so disappointed.


I started to read, listen, write, talk and question. I learned about a grassroots movement called direct care. It’s a small but growing group of physicians with a shared goal to make practicing medicine about providing top notch care at an affordable price point.


This was something I could get behind.


In the insurance model, when doctors treat patients they don’t know how much they are going to get paid or even if they are going to get paid at all. Insurers pay per quantity of patients not quality and seek every opportunity to keep money for themselves by not covering services for patients and not paying physicians for their work. The high premiums you pay are not going toward your care.


This leads to overloaded clinic schedules, long wait times, poor quality and frustrated doctors and patients. Since doctors are the face of medicine, patient frustration understably gets pinned on them then reflected back onto patients. It’s a vicious cycle that I want to halt by my own practice.


Please consider a few of my personal experiences. A few months ago my daughter brought flu home from daycare. Our pediatrician appropriately recommended prophylaxis for the entire family. That day, I lost an hour of my time forcing the pharmacist to run the prescriptions with and without insurance but saved $150 dollars on medicines by paying cash. Let me be clear, the medications were $150 MORE costly when using the insurance I pay $1000 a month for.


Another example: My son was born via non-elective c-section in an in-network hospital. My surgery was covered, but the anesthesia was not. I just can’t even.


Where is our money going?


I can’t even begin to tell you how many of these situations I’ve been faced with in caring for patients. Physicians train for so long, and I think it is wrong that the middle man sets us and our patients up to fail. The insurance model tried to punish me for treating my patients with high quality, person-centered, in-depth care.


My patients deserve better.


So, I cut the insurers out of my practice and created a place that offers patience, kindness, access, convenience, follow up, coaching and support.


In hopes to pay for our own services, we help you save elsewhere. We offer deeply discounted labs, help you navigate the convoluted pharmaceuticals process, simplify your medications and do everything we can to keep you out of the hospital.


Welcome to direct care.

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