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Only for the curious,
Dr. Faiola's opinion.

Heritage Family Medicine
4001 Harrison Ave, NW
Olympia, WA 98502

360.704.ADOC (2362)



With remarkable naivete, the American people believed a lie. It is NOT possible to deliver MORE and BETTER health care to MORE people at LESS cost* -- when has that ever been possible in any endeavor?  Worse, this is being attempted with no legal reform and heaps of new burdensome regulations, reducing the efficiency of the system 15% - 20%. 

The hidden solution: shift the cost to the patient.

So you know your DEDUCTIBLE?  
Don't feel bad. 45% of Americans do not know what a deductible IS.

Your "deductible" is the amount (usually calculated both individually and for a family total)
YOU must spend of your OWN money before your insurance benefits begin.

Many plans, forced to comply with the costly requirements of the (not) Affordable Care Act while keeping monthly premiums within reach, have raised deductibles to $2,000 - $6,000 per person!!  This deductible amount usually starts over each January.

Another neat trick is "co-insurance".  The insurance company covers a percentage and the patient is responsible for the balance (usually 20% - 30%). This co-insurance balance does apply towards your deductible.

Co-pays (also rising) are fixed payments the insurance company expects patients to pay at the time of every visit. Some plans (including Lifewise and Premera) require that you choose a primary care provider (aka "PCP") to avoid paying up to $50 more. YOU must determine from your plan if identifying a PCP is required.

Worse, all of these cost-shift mechanisms hit patients at the "first dollar" or early costs" in their medical experience - the services rendered by "Primary Care" (that's US!). By the time really expensive care is required, with any luck, insurance will be ready to step in.  Thus, the hassle and risk of all this falls on those practices with the least ability to absorb payment delays or losses due to their lower margins and smaller revenue streams (compared to procedurally oriented consultants).

Thus, this reminder: YOU (not your insurance company) are responsible to HFM for paying for the services you receive. YOU, the patient, not HFM, are responsible for knowing your insurance plan benefits, limitations and exclusions. We bill your insurance only as a courtesy to you.  What they do not pay (a dramatically increasing amount) will come back to you for payment. HFM continues to expect payment on the first invoice to you. Re-billing increases your charges. We do not intend to extend credit.  But, we will work with you on a payment plan under unusual circumstances. Refusal to pay or discourteous attitudes toward our account specialists seeking to help you meet your responsibility will result in prompt sending to "collections" and dismissal from our practice. In this new government created mess, other offices are making ALL patients pay up front.  We hope to avoid this. Serving you remains our highest goal. Please help us do so.

* the uninsured?  The congressional Budget Office estimates that after ten years, 31 million will still be uninsured (down from 46 million at a cost of $1.7 trillion of Federal spending.  That is three times what it would have cost simply to purchase commercial health insurance for those 15 million persons for those years.  An additional $3 - 4 trillion will be spent by private industry (about $150,000 by HFM) mostly distracting from, rather than improving care.

An idea to consider...IF you have a high deductible, are in reasonable good health,
and are unlikely to ever reach that amount of spending in a given year.  You may
choose to: join DirectcareMD.  For a monthly automatic payment of $50 to $70, you simply have no other charges from HFM for most services we do ourselves (see
actual agreement for details).  No co-pay, no bill, no nothing.  While these payments
will never meet your deductible with insurance, you may be able to pay from your
HSA or HRA.  Call 360.740.0888 for more details, or go to the website:


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