health care crisis? Here's NBC's Chris Jansing
CHRIS JANSING reporting:
At this Seattle doctor's office, patients fed up with traditional health care once had a litany of complaints. Insurance is too expensive.
Ms. KIM NIESHAM: I haven't had health care in a few years. I just can't afford it.
JANSING: Waits are too long, visits too short.
Unidentified Man: I was at a doctor's office and he tapped his watch and said, let me know that my 10 minutes were up.
JANSING: Rising insurance rates are pricing out small business.
Mr. LYLE ROMER (Small Business Owner): Our total budget would have been
14 percent devoted to health care. We couldn't afford it.
JANSING: All three now believe they've found the answer to their frustrations at Qliance, a doctor's office that charges a flat rate, a membership fee like a gym. Forty-nine to $79 a month covers unlimited office visits, seven days a week, that average half an hour, checkups, sick visits, X-rays, basic tests, all included. This kind of monthly fee practice isn't new, but it had primarily been used by the wealthy
who are willing to pay a lot of money to have access to this kind of care. So what's interesting is that now it's being seen as part of the solution to the problem of the high cost of medical care.
Dr. Garrison Bliss says the key is to eliminate the middleman, insurance companies.
Dr. GARRISON BLISS: Primary care right now is a money-burning operation. Fifty percent of the money going into primary care is being spent on transaction costs. Your job is to get the paperwork right rather than your job is to take of the patient.
JANSING: Venture capitalists have invested $7 million in Qliance, which has doubled its number of patients in a year. Similar practices are open in 17 states. Patients still need to buy insurance for catastrophic coverage but even with that, Lyle Romer's company expects to save a million dollars over five years. Kim Niesham, $100 a month.
Ms. NIESHAM: It's really comforting to know that if something's wrong, if I get sick again, that I don't have to worry.
Dr. BLISS: Tip your head back.
JANSING: So while Congress debates getting health insurance to all Americans, one option may be to focus on health care instead. Chris Jansing, NBC News, Seattle.
Question here is which bill you would support, or not, and the rationale for your choices
BILL TO SUPPORT
Flat rate and membership fee of forty-nine to $ 79 a month. This seems to be very cheap and
affordable to the patients because it covers unlimited visits like offices which can be...
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