Some Patients Pay More At Madison Clinic To Subsidize Others

Wisconsin State Journal: At the Our Lady of Hope Clinic in Madison, Wis., some patients — about half — pay a premium for boutique -- or concierge -- services, which pays for care for the other half -- those without insurance at all. "Now one year old, the clinic started off slowly but is gaining momentum and seems to be a viable business model, clinic officials said. The clinic has 110 paying patients, called benefactors, and serves about two dozen uninsured people weekly." The clinic says it will eventually need 600 "benefactors" to become self-sustaining and to pay two full-time physicians. "Most benefactors pay $1,200 per year or $2,300 per couple. Each child is another $500, with a maximum of $1,500 annually for a family's children's coverage. Benefactors get extended doctor time ... as well as same-day service and round-the-clock access to doctors by phone and e-mail. Benefactors must maintain high-deductible insurance for expenses outside of a traditional family practice, such as hospitalization and surgery, but otherwise they pay no fees for clinic visits" (Erickson, 7/5).

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