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Healthcare, a la Carte

Doctors are starting to offer low-cost healthcare in exchange for payment at the time of treatment as a way to sidestep the red tape and bureaucracy inherent in health insurance and HMOs. By accepting only cash, checks, and credit cards — and advertising their fees online and on site at their offices — they’re able to keep overhead low and cut costs to patients, sometimes by as much as 90%. While pay-as-you-go healthcare won’t be sufficient for major medical problems, it may be a viable — and growing — option for general physical maintenance work. One participating doctor quips that his office visits cost “between an oil change and a brake job.” Jiffy Lube, M.D.

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