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ME doc offers 'pay what you can' visits to uninsured

A Farmington, ME family physician will again offer local residents without medical insurance a one-day opportunity to see a medical doctor and pay whatever they can afford. Last spring, Jean Antonucci, MD, saw uninsured patients on a negotiated "pay what you can" basis as part of a national Cover the Uninsured Week. The response included many phone calls, and the day was more than filled, she said. When a couple of nurses asked if she planned to repeat the day and offered to help if she did, Antonucci chose April 21. People of any age can be seen for whatever reason. "Some paid $10-$20 for what would normally be a $200 appointment," the doctor said. "Most offered $60 to $80. One waitress paid from her tips, all in ones and fives. I gave it back to her." Some people who called already had a doctor, but didn't think they would see them because they had no insurance. "People feel so ashamed and won't call. Doctors may well see you," Antonucci said.

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