Dr. Wood is one of several hundred doctors across the country offering flat-rate, pay-in-advance plans. Though still experimental, proponents argue that the approach tackles two crises in U.S. health care: the rapid decline of doctors practicing primary-care medicine and the growing number of Americans who are either uninsured or underinsured.
"I'll sign up one patient at a time if I have to," says Dr. Wood, who has so far enrolled 100 people in his plan. The streamlined system, he says, cuts down on administrative hassles and costs, compels more office visits -- and delivers better profits than one that relies on insurance dollars. "I can't see my practice surviving for the next 10 years without this model," he says.
Oct 22, 2007
Doctors try prepaid plans
And why not?