More Cash-Friendly Medical Practices

I continue to get people asking me “where can I find a doctor or other medical provider that treats self-pay patients fairly,” by which they mean will offer them an honest, straightforward price to patients. Fortunately I also continue to get e-mails and calls from doctors and other providers telling me about their practice, or self-pay patients letting me know about those that they have found. Here’s a couple of recent ones:

Alliance Internal Medicine & Aesthetics

Located in Fernandina Beach, Florida (which looks to be about 30+ miles north of Jacksonville), the husband and wife team of Drs. Sam and Catherine Featherston* offer a primary care practice that also provides cosmetic treatments. Both are trained internists, and it looks like they just opened, at least judging by the special they are currently running offering 25 percent off of all medical treatments for the month of September (one of the great things about cash-friendly practices is they tend to offer deals and specials that can be real bargains).

The prices look excellent too. A basic visit dealing with two chronic conditions or one new condition is $45, which probably equates to either a Level 2 or Level 3 visit (10 minutes and 15 minutes, respectively) which Healthcare Bluebooks show as an $82 and $137 fee, respectively for that area.

Walk-in visits are also $45, and phone or video consultations are the same price.

The “About Us” section of their web site provides a brief explanation of how the Featherstones have set up their practice, and it fits quite nicely into the self-pay world:

At Alliance Internal Medicine & Aesthetics, we believe that: health care does not have to be expensive; you shouldn’t have to wait for weeks or months to see your doctor; you shouldn’t have to sit for hours in a waiting room; you should be able to see your doctor and not an assistant; and you deserve to have a doctor who keeps in mind that most people are living on a budget and who will consider costs when prescribing medications, ordering tests, etc. We feel that governmental departments and managed health organizations have created a system where health care costs are now prohibitive and medical decision making is largely out of the hands of patients and physicians. We have decided to opt out of those systems in order to not be bound to their price plans and other bureaucratic restraints. This allows us to keep our costs down and we enjoy passing along those savings to you.

Self-pay patients in the north Jacksonville and Nassau County areas of northwest Florida can contact Alliance Internal Medicine & Aesthetics through their online contact form or call them at 904-206-9354. The office is located at 1001 Atlantic Avenue in Fernandina Beach.

Gold Direct Care

I haven’t reported on a lot of doctors in the Northeast that have embraced self-pay patients, so I’m happy to be able to write up Gold Direct Care, a direct primary care practice located in Marblehead, Massachusetts, about fifteen miles northeast of Boston. The practice was started by Dr. Jeffrey Gold, apparently a native of the area, in February of this year. He explains on his web site why he opted for the direct primary care model:

When I made the decision to become a Family Practice Doctor, I had a vision of what I thought my practice would be like…it would be in a community similar to where I grew up; I would have personal relationships with all of my patients; I would be accessible to my patients when they need me; I would be able to spend as much time as I want with my patients; and the list goes on and on.

Over the course of the past couple of years, due to many factors, it became very clear to me that my vision for how I wanted to practice medicine was not coming to fruition; at least not in the dysfunction of the current healthcare system. I started to read about a movement in the world of primary care medicine called Direct Primary Care (DPC)…The more I read and the more research I did, it became obvious to me that the vision that I had for how I wanted to practice medicine- as well as the vision that I had for how my patients deserve to have me practice medicine- could be achieved by opening my own DPC practice. I truly believe that Direct Primary Care is a large part of the solution to the healthcare crisis in this country…

I am the first doctor in the state of Massachusetts to open such a practice, and I know it is the right thing to do for me, but most importantly for my patients.

As do most DPC’s, Dr. Gold offers free visits, same- or next-day appointments, and unlimited communications (phone, video, e-mail, etc.) for a monthly fee. The fees are adjusted for age, starting at $30 a month for those 21 and under, $50 for those 22-30, $75 for the 31 – 44 age group, and $90 for those between 45 and 65. He also offers membership to those age 65 and older, charging $125 a month. He also has posted on his site the discounted lab prices he can offer patients, such as an electrolyte panel for $5 that Healthcare Bluebook says has a “fair” price of $18 (meaning that’s what insurers typically pay) and a Vitamin B-12 test for $45 ($39 according to Healthcare Bluebook, so a little higher but not much).

His web site also notes he offers discount prescription drugs, details of which aren’t available but can offer huge savings. I recall being on a panel earlier this year in Vermont discussing self-pay health care and Dr. Josh Umbehr of Atlas M.D. in Wichita, Kansas, mentioned during his presentation that he was able to basically give away most generic medicines to his patients without having to charge them (it’s built into the monthly fee, obviously) because it was so cheap for him to get as doctor. I can’t recall the exact numbers he gave, but it was for Imitrex, a migraine medicine that I recognized because my wife used to take it. The name brand costs close to $400 for 9 doses and the generic version costs about $15 for nine doses according to, Dr. Umbehr said he was able to buy a large bottle with 1000 doses for about $10. It literally would have cost him more to bill his patients $0.01 for each dose than to just give them away. If Dr. Gold is able to offer even remotely comparable savings on prescription drugs, the monthly fee could be the bargain of the year in the state of Massachusetts.

So, self-pay patients in the Boston area, or “fully insured” patients who aren’t terribly satisfied with third-party payer, take a look at Dr. Gold’s practice. He can be found at 123 Pleasant Street in Marblehead, or reached by phone at 781-842-3961 and e-mail at

*Somehow I managed to get the names wrong in the initial post, my apologies! It is Drs. Sam and Catherine Featherston, not sure why that was so difficult for me the first time around.

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23 Responses to More Cash-Friendly Medical Practices

  1. Hello,
    Sanctuary Medical Care and Consulting is offering Middle Tennessee not only Direct Primary Care, but wholistic functional medicine. Dr. Potter (myself) and Dr. Hutton took the part time practice to full time service with our Spring Hill, TN office in September of 2015.
    We can usually beat the big box pharmacies even on their $4 list without fighting for a parking spot in their big lots. When we can’t beat their prices, the patient still wins. They can always choose the lowest prices.
    For those fed up with the broken system, we offer old fashioned simplicity. Doctor + patient + time = health and wellness.

    Eric Potter MD
    Wholistic healthcare for the glory of God (Col. 3:23)

  2. Elizabeth Dixon says:

    Does anyone know of any medical practices for the self pay patient in the Baltimore Maryland area?

  3. David Moll says:

    Lets see pharmacies go cash only too!

  4. Self payment can save money and be feasible for even the poor. See my recent blog post

  5. Stephen Ashton says:

    That’s just great, but none of this covers hospital stay or medical procedures and the ACA still fines you for not having insurance. Also, if you don’t have a PCP approved by an insurance company, you can’t claim anything for deductibles. So, aside from a check up (included by law in every plan), and a “cosmetic procedure” how does self pay help the average patient?

    • says:

      There are plenty of other posts addressing the topics of hospital stays and more serious procedures, and there are actually a number of totally legal ways to avoid the tax/fine for being uninsured (joining a health care sharing ministry being the most beneficial, IMHO). As for going to a cash-friendly practice that isn’t in your insurer’s network may or may not be much of a problem – if you never hit your deductible (most won’t), all your doing by going to an out-of-network doctor is probably saving money and getting better quality care. I can live with that.

      • Sam Featherston says:

        You hit the nail on the head with regards to deductibles. We have patients who actually have insurance come to see us because they like the care they receive here, our rates aren’t much higher than their copay (sometimes lower), and they never hit their deductible anyway, even if they were to see their “insurance designated provider.”

  6. Just wanted to let you all know about another cash pay practice in the Direct Care Practice (DPC) model. Rekindle Family Medicine is opening next month in Wilmington, DE. We are accepting new patients currently. See our website for more details on pricing, policies, etc. We’re not terribly far from Baltimore, Elizabeth!

    @selfpaypatient I would love to tell you more about the practice if you’re interested. Please feel free to add me to your list of self pay doctors. Thanks!

    Dr. Nalda

    • Annon says:

      Hi Dr.Nalda,
      I lost my health insurance almost a year ago and for the moment am a self pay patient. I have been researching for a good, caring, self pay physician the past few days because unfortunately the doctor I’ve seen for 8yrs is hospitalized with cancer and I just found out the day of my Dr appt for my monthly appt. I need to see a physician asap but can not afford hundreds on this short notice. I would like to see what my options are before spending aton of money but need a appt asap please let me know if I could talk to someone privately on behalf of myself and this new system 😉 thanks

  7. Jessy R says:

    I just found this site while desperately attempting to search for a regular physician (not sure if it’ll be listed as general physician, family practice, family doctor,etc…) that would kindly accept & treat me as im an uninsured mother of 2 & married but husband makes too much to get any medical assistance like medicaid of any kind nor do we qualify for any of the “ObamaCare” discounts & unfortunately the insurance offered through my husbands company, is EXTREMELY HIGH. So we’re stuck with NO insurance coverage at all (by the way i live in Jacksonville, Florida ) im searching for a physician that will continue quoting my prescriptions ive been on for the past 8-10yrs but this includes my pain medication & because I’ve only had one Dr, & with all the stigma placed on patients taking pain medication & pressure placed on the Dr’s as well as pharmacies filing such meds, its places me in a position where i honestly don’t know how to even begin finding such dr’s & what I’m allowed to ask them over the phone when trying to find a new Dr. I’m made to feel as though im asking them for something illegal or as if im guilty of doing something i shouldn’t be when I’ve been on these meds all this time because i have NO ins & no one will touch me as I’ve been in need of specialists & back surgery for at least 10yrs now but cant afford it so all dr’s will do is prescribe pain meds every month for years until i can get surgery. Any help on how to even begin finding a dr near me & what do i ask them without them hearing i need my monthly pain meds along with other meds (blood pressure, cholesterol,etc…)as i can afford a seperate pain management dr bill & right away they want to hang up on me. So any help or advice would be BEYOND greatly appreciated. Sorry for such a long letter, this site has given me hope i lost long ago as i felt i was in this “self pay situation all alone” so if for anything, thank you for taking the time to read this. Best regards, Jessy R.

    • says:

      Sorry to hear about your dilemma – the “family trap” of Obamacare appears to have caught you. There are a handful of doctors in the Jacksonville area that are cash-friendly, here’s one: You can also look at these sites to find others, although I think the lists are a bit outdated at this point: and You might want to look at a site like for affordable back surgery, or international medical tourism. As for talking with doctors about your pain meds, I’m not sure how to handle that, I do know pain management doctors have been feeling the heat from the feds over prescription abuses. It might be worth keeping your current doc for that and finding a cash-only or cash-friendly doctor for everything else, but I can’t really say for sure because I don’t know the details. Hope this helps.

    • Robyn says:

      were you ever able to find a Doctor?

  8. Jessy R says:

    I didn’t mean I’m looking for a dr to continue “QUOTING” my prescriptions, i meant “continue WRITING” my prescriptions. I also meant to state that i “CANNOT ” afford a seperate pain management dr bill. Sorry for the errors, my apologies , thanks again, Jessy R

  9. Hi Sean,

    You have featured me in the past as a cash-friendly doctor and I remain in this model. I have gone out into a solo practice in order to improve service and to continue to tailor my offerings to the value based patient consumer. I agree that the Direct Patient Care model looks to be a very attractive model for both doctors and patients.

    Ray Kordonowy MD Fort Myers Florida

  10. JM says:

    I am seeking referrals to a self-pay general physician on the Oregon Coast area. Nothing complicated – just need to be able to prescriptions refilled after moving here from out-of-state. I asked the local medical clinic about office visit rates, and was quoted between $119-$579, depending on what the Dr. did.

    I have insurance and cash. I don’t want to be treated as a blank check when I walk in the door. I see one Dr. in Coos Bay – a dermatologist. Are there any general practitioners out there. Thanks for this wonderful resource.

    • JM –
      There are several direct primary care practices in Oregon. Direct primary care is a membership based relationship between a patient and a doctor founded on old fashioned relational values and price transparency. Here are some links. I just googled “Direct Primary Care” Oregon. Disclaimer: these may not all be direct primary care, some may be concierge medicine. There is a lot of overlap but I think you will find that the direct primary care practices are up front with their costs and are refreshingly affordable as well as offering unparalleled access and perks.
      These are just some of the easy ones to find which have good websites. There are likely many others. is basically the birth mother of all these direct primary care clinics and is located in Seattle. Not close enough most likely but will give good background information on the DPC movement if you read some articles about Garrison Bliss and the Direct Primary Care movement.

      Why do I know all of this? I am a practicing DPC doctor in Newark, DE, looking to educate others about the movement and to assist cash paying patients get quality health care at affordable costs. Good luck in your quest.

      • JM says:

        Thank you so much Dr. Kimberly. I will definitely check these referrals out.

        I tried to make an appointment recently to get a long-term prescription renewed. When I asked how much the appointment would cost, they guessed a range between $119 and $579, depending on “what questions the doctor ask, or if he needs to run any tests”. This is the difference between not buying shoes this month, versus possibly not making the rent for many people.

        This system must go. Thanks for being part of the revolt against it. I will join you in refusing to participate.

  11. Debbie says:

    Anyone know of a doctor in NW Illinois? Algonquin, Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Crystal Lake, Dundee, Carpentersville or Elgin Illinois specifically?

  12. Offering Self Pay Visits and Direct Primary Care Memberships in Jacksonville, FL & surrounding communities

    Balanced Physician Care
    115 Professional Drive STE 104
    Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082

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