Everyday Living, Good Reading, Money Saving Strategies

Bucking a trend: This doctor only takes cash

I read this article today over my lunch break and had to share it with you guys. It’s from the Minneapolis Star Tribune and documents the “back to basics” approach of Dr. James Eelkema who quit his job at a large family medicine clinic and set up his own shop. While this isn’t unheard of, Dr. Eelkema took it a step further … if you want to see this doctor, you have to pay cash.


I’ll be honest – even though I have insurance (the Pinto of a plan that it is), I would be tempted to make the drive to Burnsville to pay $54 for stitches if necessary. What about the rest of you? Do you think this is smart business or should we be satisfied with the status quo of health care?

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4 thoughts on “Bucking a trend: This doctor only takes cash

  1. I think it’s a good idea. Prices are higher because of insurance plans. Paying cash allows the doctor to charge less for the same service. Plus, paying cash in general encourages people to live within their means.

  2. Wonderful idea. All doctors should offer the option with there being a discount for those who do pay cash. Of course the real reason they can do it is they don’t have to pay a bunch of different people to take care of office work. So, I suppose they would have to work either one way or the other for it to save them and their patients money. It certainly works for me with my chiropractor. I pay $40 to him, but would have to pay $45 copay to any other chiropractor who takes insurance. I worry that if the government gets control of health care they will require all doctors to take insurance and they would not have the option of taking cash. I also think insurance has driven the cost of health care up and that needs to be addressed somehow.

  3. It’s an ok idea until you have to have cancer treatment or a heart transplant. As much as many of us don’t like the current health care insurance system, it is still “insurance” and would protect most of us from bankruptcy or basically having to die. There’s certainly MUCH room for improvement though – there’s no excuse for people in our country in 2010 not being able to get basic coverage.

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