By David Tulis
Dr. Rick Hitchcock and other Chattanooga doctors are living out the local economy response to a bad case of constipation in the national economy.
With ObamaCare effectively nationalizing the medical insurance industry, doctors have faced difficult choices about their practices. On Oct. 1 several in Chattanooga bailed out of insurance and Medicare. Dr. Hitchcock is taking part in the powerful local economy response to ObamaCare and the upgrade in the coding platform through which insurance companies dictate medical care.
Dr. Hitchcock is a former U.S. Navy physician and runs Hitchcock Family Clinic in Hixson next to Rafael’s restaurant. His business model is to provide subscription or concierge care, as it’s called. For a fixed rate paid by credit or debit card at the beginning of each month, he provides his patients open access to him every day at whatever time a need arises.
I signed up my mother, Marianne, 92, on Feb. 1. We commit to being his patient for two years, and paying F$100 a month for her to have access to his medical expertise and huge cash discounts for many tests and other service. Until switching, we found the insurance model truly frustrating, with doctors inaccessible or rushed; we had become another head of cattle in the assembly line process to which the medical profession has turned to rationalize costs under the supervision of insurance companies.
His business becomes sustainable with 50 paying clients — a goal he has met — and that he has an outer limit of 500 patients, Dr. Hitchcock says. His care is personal, unhurried and not controlled by strangers in insurance who are not qualified to practice medicine.
Other doctors who’ve shifted into local economy are Dr. David Redd, who runs QuickSurg in the North Shore; Dr. Romero Rivas at Chattanooga Spine & Body; Dr. Danielle Mitchell at Chattanooga Sports Institute; Dr. Kerry Friesen at Friesen Center for Lifestyle Genomics and Mind-Body Medicine on Lee Highway; Dr. Charles Adams at Full Circle Medical Center in Ringgold, Ga., who’s moving to East Ridge; and chiropractor Lynn Turner on East Brainerd Road. If you know of others please email me through this site and I will line them up for an interview on our news station for the man who matters, AM 1240 Hot News Talk Radio.
Dr. Rick Hitchcock explains how the trend in independent physicians is good for local economy and good for the human condition.