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Surgeon Cuts Out Third-Party Payers

Greg Freeman for HealthLeaders Media, August 5, 2011
Less paperwork, better patient care

Decreasing the bureaucratic nightmare was a large part of Petersen’s motivation. According to a recent report from the Health Economics Institute, physicians’ offices spend between $23 billion and $32 billion per year in administrative overhead trying to get paid by insurance companies.

“The success of No Insurance Surgery has proven itself a sustainable business model and a significantly more patient-centric model of healthcare delivery,” says Petersen, who earns roughly the same fee performing surgery without insurance as he does when he performs an insurance-covered surgery. “No one outside of the profession tells me how I much time I should be spending with a patient.”

Petersen is also able to significantly reduce his overhead by eliminating staff previously dedicated to filing insurance claims and paperwork. At the height of his insurance practice, 80% of his staff’s time was devoted to dealing with insurance companies, Petersen says.

The cost of a no-insurance surgery performed by the practice is 50%–70% less than fees quoted by other physicians who provide insurance-funded surgeries, he says. Patients are offered a discounted, all-inclusive surgery package that includes pre- and postoperative care, laboratory testing, operating room fees, the surgical procedure, and anesthesiologist care. The initial consultation is free.

Petersen and his staff pre-negotiate all fees with medical facilities, anesthesiologists, and all other healthcare providers involved in a given surgery, he says.

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1 comments on "Surgeon Cuts Out Third-Party Payers"


nursecathy (8/11/2011 at 8:06 PM)
How refreshing to read about this surgeon who has dumped health insurance companies. The sooner we can rid ourselves of them all, the better off we will be as a nation. Now, how about everyone in this country having a tax-free health savings account? Each person would be responsible for how he spends his own money, so would handle it with thrift.