‘The Wedge’ – a new tool for finding cash-only doctors

As I have mentioned in the past, the number-one question I get is “Where can I find a cash-only or cash-friendly doctor?” In the past I’ve pointed readers to two sites that provide directories of practices that are aimed at self-pay patients, one from the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and the other from SimpleCare. I’m not sure either has been updated recently, however.

A friend who also works to promote independence from third-party payers contacted me recently to let me know about a site she has launched, called “The Wedge of Health Freedom.”

“The Wedge of Health Freedom will put patients and doctors back together — and set them free.

Obamacare, more than 132,000 pages of Medicare regulations and onerous contractual requirements from corporate health plans have intruded in the confidential patient-doctor relationship — and caused health care costs to skyrocket.

But around the country, pockets of doctors and patients are breaking free. The Wedge of Health Freedom will point the way to this exciting escape route. With high deductible insurance policies and health sharing organizations on the rise under Obamacare, patients want doctor’s offices that are affordable, patient-centered, and confidential—and doctors want to start them. Doctors using “Wedge Principles” work for patients—not the government or a health plan.

Today, these pockets of health freedom — affordable third-party-free practices and surgical centers — are not visible to most Americans. The Wedge of Health Freedom will draw the public’s attention to these practices, make them a visible attractive choice for patients nationwide, defend their legal right to practice freely and grow The Wedge so large that health freedom can never be taken away:

The Wedge Principles

  • Transparent, Affordable Pricing
  • Freedom to Choose
  • True Patient Privacy
  • No Government Reporting
  • No Outside Interference
  • Cash-Based Pricing
  • Protected Patient-Doctor Relationship
  • All Patients Welcome

Wedge practices follow these eight principles.

All patients, insured or uninsured, are welcome. Payment is by cash, check or charge. Imagine a practice where your doctor, dentist or other health care practitioner really knows you. Imagine an practice that doesn’t demand your insurance card and ID before the staff even say hello. Wedge Practices and their doctors are the way back to the future! A future where patients and doctors are free, prices are affordable and care is confidential – just between you and the doctor.”

That may be a bit more political and policy commentary than some self-pay patients prefer, but everyone who has to pay directly for some or all of their health care could benefit from the map of practices that cater to self-pay patients.

The map is by no means exhaustive, but it is being continuously added to and maintained, and I’d guess there are currently close to hundred practices listed, a number that will hopefully continue to grow – I’d estimate there are anywhere from five to ten thousand practices in the country that are cash only or at least equipped to deal with patients paying directly for their care. To give you some idea of the scope of the site, it lists five in the Southern California area, four in Maine, and six in Missouri.

Finding a doctor willing to offer fair, simple, and transparent prices for health care is crucial for those of us who pay directly for our health care. With this new site, self-pay patients have another valuable tool to help us do just that.

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9 Responses to ‘The Wedge’ – a new tool for finding cash-only doctors

  1. Archie Dorrough says:

    I am a Veteran, I go to a private dermatologist and self-pay, it’s much easier than driving to the VA Med Center in Atlanta. My Dr. gives me a nice discount for self-pay in cash. Last year a simple cryo for skin spots was about $45, I went in last week and the same procedure cost me $165.00! When I questioned the charge the lady told me that there were new guidelines for billing on procedures, guidelines set forth by the Government. What the hell happened?

    • Sean Parnell says:

      Don’t know for sure, you might want to inquire as to what those guidelines are.

      • Archie Dorrough says:

        I’ve checked with the Patient’s Advocate Foundation, Kaiser, even Clark Howard, nothing…. I’m going to go back to the Dr.’s office and ask to see those guidelines.

  2. Daniel Vogler says:

    Don’t forget about places like Access Healthcare Direct network of DPC providers. can do a physician search all over the US.

  3. judy says:

    Unfortunately, San Francisco Bay area/east bay seems to be nearly empty of direct pay/self pay practices (there is one listed in downtown san francisco). I hope I haven’t made a mistake going with this idea.

    • Archie Dorrough says:

      The reason it’s hard to find a “cash doctor” is that the new ACA (Bamacare) will fine the doctors if they give discounts below the mandated rate.

  4. Samantha Lenard says:

    I hate using insurance, I can’t get the service I believe I deserve, or I think my insurance will cover me and in the end I get a huge surprise bill! So I stopped seeing my doctor for blood tests and go online and order my blood test from NewCenturyLabs.com I believe they go through Quest Diagnostics and may have used LabCorp but I never have to pay more than $29 for a vitamin D test before I had to pay $110 when I saw my doctor.

    Selfpaypatient.com is a great site and hope to find some more self pay docs!

  5. J Russell says:

    If a doctor does not accept, for instance Medicare, can his patients still get their prescriptions at a discount through their Medicare part D or supplemental plan ?

    • Sean Parnell says:

      I assume they can, but you might want to check with the doctor first. To be honest, once Medicare is involved, things tend to get screwy in terms of what is allowable (not that doctors in the conventional insured market can’t get difficult, but Medicare is a whole other level).

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