“Cash only providers” are those that do not take health insurance as a means of paying for their services. (Cash includes any form of up-front currency, including debit and credit cards). There are several reasons why some doctors decide to only take cash, many of them beneficial to the patient. Read our article to find out why the cash only model of medical practice is on the rise, and how it can actually be a better option in certain cases.
Benefits of Cash Only Providers
Cash Only Means More Transparent Billing
It’s no secret that, when it comes to insurance, things can get complicated. This is true for both the healthcare provider and the patient. As a patient, the amount you ultimately pay can be a complete mystery, depending on various factors. For example, the type of doctor you saw, whether or not the service is a covered benefit, and whether or not your provider is in network with your insurance can drastically affect your final bill.
Furthermore, the insurance billing process can take weeks or even months. Confusing documents can arrive in the mail that you might mistake for a bill, but which are actually records or statements of a claim filed. Then, just when you think you’re in the clear, you receive a daunting medical bill in the mail saying your service was either denied coverage, or it has been applied to your deductible.
When you take insurance out of the equation, things become a lot more simple. You don’t have to wonder what something is going to cost: your cash-only doctor has the freedom to set his or her own rates, which will be disclosed to you up front. This gives both you and your doctor more peace of mind, knowing exactly how much the visit is going to cost with no surprises down the road.
Cash Only Doctors Can Be Much Less Expensive
Because your doctor does not have to worry about when or if a visit will be paid for, he or she can often offer certain services at a far lower rate than if they were billed through insurance. You may have noticed that there tends to be quite a discrepancy between what doctors bill to insurance and what is ultimately paid on a claim. How can a doctor bill $765 for a new patient visit, only to have the insurance company “adjust” the amount to $178 and call it “paid”? With such wildly different amounts, how can you possibly know what the service is truly worth?
With the freedom to set their own rates, cash only doctors can place a value they deem fair for the services they provide. This is frequently much lower than the amount they would have to bill to insurance, since they will receive the full amount rather than a fraction of what was submitted.
You Have More Choices Without Insurance
Patients with health insurance are limited to providers in that network. This greatly limits your freedom to choose a doctor that you like, or to continue care with a provider who no longer takes your insurance. Cash only doctors can see anyone they like within their professional scope.
Cash Only Docs Have More Time to Spend With Patients
Medical providers have to jump through all sorts of hoops to even be allowed to accept a certain type of insurance. Once they are contracted with a specific insurance, the process gets even more complicated. Endless amounts of paperwork and red tape mean claims can be bounced back numerous times because of coding errors, ineligible diagnoses, missing documentation, etc. This means your doctor and his support staff are spending an inordinate amount of time just trying to be compensated for a service they provided in good faith.
Without the hassle of insurance billing, cash only doctors have way more time on their hands to spend with patients. What’s more, they can spend that time how they and the patient see fit. You don’t have to worry about convoluted details that control when, how, or even if your doctor is able to treat you.
Which Providers are Best for Cash Only?
As of 2019, health insurance is no longer federally mandated in the United States. (Some states will exact a penalty if you do not have health insurance, however.) That being said, health insurance is still highly recommended in many cases, especially when it comes to more complicated health issues that require costly hospital stays or more frequent visits.
Cash pay is ideal for primary care, such as a family doctor, ob-gyn, or pediatrician. You can pay up front for routine and preventive services and complete your visit knowing you got the best value for the service, more time to ask questions, and won’t be receiving any surprise bills in the mail.
Cash pay is also a fairly typical model for mental health providers. Historically, this was because psychiatric services were not a covered benefit on most standard insurance plans. Today, however, more and more mental health providers are electing the cash only model to provide better and more affordable care for their patients.
Cash Only Doctors in Destin, Florida
The Crane Center is a cash only mental health and primary care provider in Destin, Florida. We want to have as much time to dedicate to our patients as possible, and bypassing the insurance process allows us to do so. We are able to extend the highest quality care and offer unique and supportive therapies that insurance-tethered doctors would be unable to provide. If you are in need of a top cash only doctor in Destin, call our office or go online today to get started.