Our mission is to improve the relationship between Doctors and other Healthcare Providers and Patients or Consumers by providing a format to help Patients or Consumers (who are willing to pay for their care at the time of service) find Doctors and other Healthcare Providers who are seeking private pay patients, thus eliminating the interference and expense of third parties.
Back in the early 1990's our founder, Alisa LeSueur, read an article written by Steve Forbes. In it, Mr. Forbes explained how he established Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) for his employees. His employees were instructed to use the accounts for their medical expenses rather than using the company's health insurance. If an employee exceeded the amount in the MSA, then the health insurance could be used. If an employee had a balance remaining in the MSA at the end of the year, those funds would be given to the employee as a bonus. Mr. Forbes found that once employees had a financial interest in their medical spending, they were far more likely to be more responsible in their medical spending and often shopped around to find lower cost medical care. This resulted in a huge savings for Forbes with his corporate insurance premiums dropping well beyond the cost of funding the MSAs.
This concept of individual responsibility and self regulation gave birth to the concept of a medical clearing house – a single source where individuals can go to find the actual cost of medical care services. Of course, back then the internet was still something few people had ever heard of, much less had access to, so the only means to available to create this clearing house was by establishing a call center. Of course, this was prohibitively expensive. So, the idea was shelved.
Over the ensuing years, Alisa pursued other business opportunities (she calls herself a serial entrepreneur), but the idea still remained close to her heart. Years later, the opportunity to create this medical care clearing house became more realistic. The internet had developed into a common tool for daily use and Alisa had the ability to fund the project out of pocket. Unfortunately, at that time it looked as though the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was going to become a mandatory single payer system for the country and would eliminate the ability for people to seek out and pay directly for their own medical care. So, the clearing house concept had to wait.
Once the final version of the PPACA was passed (and we finally could learn what was in it), Alisa realized the acts shortcomings and knew many people and physicians would want to receive and provide medical care outside a system that was incumbered by third parties to the patient-physician relationship. Alisa was ready to go forward with the self-pay medical care clearing house which would become known as DocCost.com.
At about this time Alisa teamed up with Rob Salter to work with developers to create the site. This task had a multitude of stumbling blocks and Alisa and Rob went through a series of developers to create a working site. After three years of development, not including ongoing revisions and development to continuously improve the site, DocCost.com was born.
The DocCost.com website works on a simple premise:
• Direct payments from the patient to the physician can be very reasonably priced and is far superior in many ways to a system in which third parties interfere in the patient-physician relationship.
• Only catastrophic or major medical care really require insurance.
• The medical care clearing house should be free to use for both patients and physicians (the site is self funded and will use a minimal amount of advertising to help cover the cost of maintaining the site).
• While physicians must register on the site, there is no reason for us to collect a patient's personal information. We do not ask or maintain any patient data. In fact, we only ask for the bare minimum information to provide the patient with meaningful search results (search area, specialty, and procedure/service). There is no patient email list and we will not flood your email inbox with unwanted solicitations.
• Our purpose is to help self-pay patients find the medical care they need and know the pricing (usually due at the time of the office visit – no insurance is involved) in advance of that visit. We provide patients with the information they need to contact the medical practice and set appointments with that practice directly. We do not become a third party to your medical care. We are simply a conduit to help patients and physicians establish a relationship. In addition, DocCost.com can be a proof source that a vibrant free market for medical care exists and is most often preferable to the third party system commonly used.