Originally Posted by ElCapitanAmerica
I also would like to meet these bartering doctors that have nothing better to do but accept trinkets from Tzu so they can get paid.
The funny thing is that a lot of good doctors in the area won't even see you if you don't have insurance, they don't care if you mean to pay cash, if it's not the insurance they take or you don't have anything you can move along.
If you lack insurance, you can negotiate a better rate with doctors that accept cash and non-insurance patients, not to mention they'll more often then not help you out by giving you the 'samples' that pharma reps leave to avoid costly prescriptions. So instead of prescribing you say... 60 pills, they give you 45 in free samples and write you a prescription for 15. Not every doctor is like this but there are some real gems out there that friends and family have gone to see when they didn't have insurance for whatever reason.
As for waiting time? I live on the East Coast. My daughters doctor is in upstate New York (same pediatrician that treated me when I was a baby, apparently) and my doctor is in Connecticut where we live.
Almost all Emergency Room visits me or my family had, were instantaneous but then I only go there in cases of an emergency.
As for PCP.. I can get an appointment same day if I call first thing in the morning for either me or my daughter and my PCP is the Medical Director of the facility, so you can imagine his time is tight (only one time was he unavailable and I had to see someone else at the practice). If something comes up later on in the day, I can still get a visit but they'll have to squeeze me in between other patients so I usually have to wait longer in the waiting area (5 minutes usually but those visits are 20 minutes on average.. the iphone has made that easier) Twice I've called the answering service to have the doctor see me or my daughter while the office is closed, usually its a return phone call at home and results in a prescription being sent to a 24 hour pharmacy but if it turns out the symptoms are more severe he will recommend an emergency room vist and he'll meet us down there (this hasn't happened but comforting to know you'll be in good hands at the ER). They charge extra for that and insurance doesn't cover it but it deters abuse of the service and the doctor can waive the fee... which he has done both times for us.
The key here is to have a PCP at a place that has multiple doctors so incase your doctor isn't available you can still be seen by someone else in the practice and you want to make sure that you have a doctor that has gone to a very good school, has admitting rights to hospitals in your area and has ties to the area for a long time. It prevents them moving around from place to place and dropping an insurance plan that you are on. This actually happened to us, the pediatrician dropped our insurance plan (the insurance company was screwing them out of payments and undercutting their costs) but we continued to go there out of pocket and enough parents did the same thing so they renewed that insurance plan.