For Dr. Robb, that help included listening to testimonials from other physicians who had gone before him, which he found inspiring and helpful.
Explore This IssueJune 2006
One of those physicians is Robert S. Berry, MD, President and CEO of PATMOS EmergiClinic, Inc. in Greeneville, Tenn., and a board certified emergency room physician. In 2001 he opened an urgent care clinic to take care of people who don’t have insurance, people he describes as the ones who are too poor for a $10 co-pay but too rich for Medicaid.
Because he doesn’t accept insurance, he only needs one staff member and can keep his overhead low, around $100,000. He compares this to $300,000 and 4.5 staff members typical of many physicians’ offices. As a result he can charge a relatively low fee, around $50, for a typical appointment. He has set up arrangements with several local labs for reasonably priced tests and X-rays.
Dr. Berry is an outspoken advocate for the cash-only system. It is either this or a single-payer system, he said. We do not need and cannot afford a third-party payer system. Insurers don’t provide healthcare, doctors do. We need to understand that.
©2006 The Triological Society