Via Medical Economics: Concierge Emergency Care?
These days, the soft-spoken, but formidable family physician is mixing it up in the role of healthcare reformer. Three years ago, Wood began advertising that his clinic would provide unlimited primary and urgent care for a monthly fee of $83 for an individual, $125 for a family. Wood immediately ran afoul of the state insurance commissioner, who warned him that he was operating as an illegal insurer, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. For the next three years, Wood pushed for legislation—and got pushed back by the insurance-industry lobby—that would legalize his experiment. Now instead of prosecuting Wood, West Virginia is replicating his bargain-basement version of concierge medicine in a pilot program. The goal—to make healthcare more affordable in one of the poorest states in the nation.