Free Market Medicine is an overarching topic that includes: Direct Patient Care, Price Transparency, Freestanding Ancillary Services such as Surgery Centers, Imaging Centers Laboratories and Independent Pharmacies, amongst others.
Direct Patient Care is the up and coming reimbursement and care delivery model in which government, employers or individuals pay a set monthly fee for a prescribed list of services. It does not involve insurance, therefore no copays, deductibles or out-of-pocket maximums.
No longer limited to primary care, several specialties now feature this membership medicine model as well, including Dermatology, Ophthalmology and Rheumatology.
Price transparency is becoming more and more important as deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums continue to climb. Independent price transparency resources such as Pratter, Healthcare Blue Book, MDSave and ClearHealthCosts are important in helping consumers locate low-cost alternatives to hospitals and hospital-owned ancillary services. Why? Because these facilities are allowed to charge "facility fees" which can increase one's bills by 80% and upwards. The freestanding, independent non-hospital owned ancillary centers make it possible to find these low-cost alternatives.
Health sharing plans, such as Liberty Health Share, Sedera Health and others could also be considered free market alternatives to traditional insurance. When combined with a Direct Patient Care practice and price transparent services, significant savings can be achieved with an actual increase in quality of service rendered.