A doctor in Maine is taking healthcare reform into his own hands. Effective April 1st, Dr. Michael Ciampi stopped accepting any form of health coverage – both private and government-issued – and he slashed all prices for his services.
Although he lost several hundred patients in the switch, Dr. Ciampi claims he can practice medicine the way he wants. Insurance companies can’t dictate how much he charges, and he can offer discounts to patients struggling with their medical bills. Bonus: he can make house calls. He says, “I’m freed up to do what I think is right for the patients. If I’m providing them a service they value, they can pay me, and we cut the insurance out as the middleman and cut out a lot of the expense.”
Even without insurance, Dr. Ciampi expects his practice to perform just as well financially, and he hopes other doctors follow suit. He says, “If more doctors were able to do this, that would be real health care reform. That’s when we’d see the cost of medicine truly go down.” So how much for a visit with Dr. Ciampi? A regular office visit is $75, while a brief office visit for a straight forward issue (cold, sinus infection, bladder infection, etc.) is $50. (Bangor Daily News)