DODGE CITY, Kansas – Jim Moffitt and his wife started practicing family medicine in Dodge City 14 years ago, but with the Affordable Care Act and changes to insurance procedures he says the claims process has gotten to be too much .
“14 years ago my nurse and I could take care of the paperwork we needed to do and have everything done by the end of the day,” Moffitt said.
Now it takes more time with twice as many people.
“There’s a lot of issues that the medical community has had to pick up on, that the general public is not aware of,” said Donna Haskins, a life and health agent with Parker and Haskins Insurance in Dodge City. “It’s really raised the bar on their cost of doing business.”
“The insurance companies, to a certain extent, want to micromanage what you’re doing. I understand they want to manage their costs also, but sometime cost management doesn’t make for good patient care,” said Moffitt.
So he has decided to stop taking most insurance and instead charge his patients a membership fee. The prices start at $65 a month for a single adult and includes general services and generic drugs.
The new policy makes life easier in the office, but it also helps the customer. Moffitt says by doing away with all of that paperwork he has more time to spend with his patients. Patients should not give up their insurance completely though, it’s necessary to pay for accidents and hospital stays.
Moffitt believes there are people in town with certain coverage that could benefit, “We could fill that niche and help a lot of folks,” he said.
Haskins liked the idea, but says it isn’t for everyone. “If you don’t go to the doctor frequently, or you’re not on maintenance medications, something like that, it may not be your best option,” she said.
Overall, patients have been receptive to the change. They’ll continue accepting Medicaid and certain private insurances for the next year, but they’ll phase them out on a case by case basis.