Insurance Companies Already Hitting New Lows in 2017

Welcome 2017. After the first business week of the year has concluded, it is time to share the newest way insurance companies have hit a new low. An elderly couple came in for a visit a few days ago with letters in hand from their Medicare (Dis)Advantage Insurance Contractor. The letters told me that two medicines they are taking have cheaper and equally effective alternatives that I should prescribe for them to save money. The problem is that that statement was absolutely false! One medicine is levothyroxine, a generic thyroid hormone that she needs to treat an underactive thyroid. The … Continue reading

Jeff Gold, M.D.: DPC, THE NETFLIX OF HEALTHCARE

The article below was written by my friend and colleague, Dr. Jeffery Gold, owner of Gold Direct Care in Marblehead, Massachusetts.  He uses a great metaphor to describe how Direct Primary Care may soon be the standard way that primary care is delivered in this country because it is more consumer friendly than standard, insurance based medicine.  Like Blockbuster, the medical establishment will try to copy DPC, but it will fall flat. Michael A. Ciampi, M.D.   When is the last time you went to a Blockbuster Video store on a Friday night to peruse the shelves for a rental? Yup, … Continue reading

Farrago: Loopholes, Liars, and Hypocrites

The blog post below was shamelessly lifted from my friend, and fellow Direct Primary Care doctor, Douglas Farrago, M.D.’s Authentic Medicine Blog Site.  It is a brilliant article pointing out the hypocrisy of those who love everything about Obamacare, until they are asked to pay for it. Michael A. Ciampi, M.D. Please read this opinion piece in the NY Times so you may see a true example of hypocrisy.   The freelance journalist, who supported Obamacare, just can’t afford it (no sh#t).  Now she is looking for what she calls a “loophole” where it would require her to “lie” about her beliefs to … Continue reading

Why I Do Not Support The American Academy of Family Physicians

For many years, in fact since I was a newly minted physician in my internship, I was a proud member of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).  I felt that it was an organization that was all about supporting the rights and privileges of family doctors like myself.  I thought that it would help advocate for its member physicians and their patients. Several years ago, I realized how wrong I was.  Like many other big organizations, it became too wrapped up in politics and advancing its own interests above those of the people who they are supposed to represent, … Continue reading

The Dry Tortugas and Being a Deplorably Good Physician by Dr. Marilyn Singleton

This is a brilliant piece by my friend, Dr. Marilyn Singleton.  She is both a doctor of medicine and a doctor of law.  She does a fantastic job at calling out the political establishment for what they have done, and are planning to do to health care in America.  Not only will you not be able to keep your doctor, but your doctor will not be able to keep his/her practice open after they are done. This article comes from The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) website, Michael A. Ciampi, M.D.   By Marilyn Singleton, MD, JD Hillary … Continue reading

Bill Has A DPC Doctor. Be Like Bill.

Michael A. Ciampi, M.D. This is just a friendly reminder that having health insurance is not the same thing as having access to high quality, affordable health care. Having a plastic card issued by an insurance company that you have to pay several hundred dollars a month for, and are still liable for high copayments, deductibles, and other out of pocket costs, is not the same as having a great relationship with a doctor and office staff who know you and will take care of all your primary care needs. Direct Primary Care doctors actually deliver the health care that … Continue reading

Maine Heritage Policy Center Releases Report on Direct Primary Care

July 6, 2016 Today I had the pleasure of being invited to the Hall of Flags at the Maine State House to give some remarks about the newly released report from the Maine Heritage Policy Center entitled “Restoring The Doctor-Patient Relationship, How Entrepreneurship Is Revolutionizing Health Care In Maine.”  It is a research project authored by Liam Siguad doing an analysis on Direct Primary Care (DPC) in Maine. I am admittedly biased on the subject, but I think it was very well done.  It is a concise summary of what DPC is, who is doing it, and how it can … Continue reading

Non-Profit Hospitals & Their Employees

Whenever I talk about hospitals which don’t pay taxes because they supposedly do not make a profit, and write off so much money because of bad debt and charity care, I always use air quotes when I use the term, “non-profit.” The truth is that these entities, while crying poor, are often constantly expanding.  They build multimillion dollar buildings, buy up surrounding property and take it off tax rolls, and pay their executives seven figure salaries.  If that is not making a profit, I would like in on the action. In the article below by Dr. Arvind Cavale, published in … Continue reading

Tennessee Lawmakers Offer Direct Primary Care as Alternative to Medicaid Expansion

Tennessee gets it! We need similar legislation here in Maine, and in the other states where this legislation does not exist. It is a great idea to facilitate price transparency and increase truly affordable health care without burdening taxpayers.   Michael A. Ciampi, M.D. From The Heartland News Institute: (via the Goodman Institute For Public Policy Research’s Linkedin Page) Tennessee Lawmakers Offer Direct Primary Care as Alternative to Medicaid Expansion April 2, 2016 Dustin Siggins  A year after rejecting Gov. Bill Haslam’s (R) plan to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Tennessee lawmakers are adopting free-market reforms to increase … Continue reading

Electronic Medical Records:The Potemkin Village of Healthcare

I truly believe that the 12 page boilerplate notes generated by a hospital EMR system for a problem that would have been a paragraph or two in a paper chart actually will be proven to be dangerous. Because the information is not concise, it is hard for clinicians to sift through all the prefabricated chaff to find the few grains of pertinent information. Also, once erroneous information is entered into a system’s EMR, it is there for eternity. In a paper chart, you put a line through it and initial it. Problem solved. EMRs are a boon for tech companies, … Continue reading