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March 19, 2007

Cash Doctor

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With nearly 16% of Americans without health insurance, hospitals overwhelmed with non-paying patients, and medical costs rising by double digits, lawmakers are now trying to come up with a solution to America's health care crisis.

Dick Gordon talks with one physician in Apex, North Carolina who thinks he offers a partial solution. Dr. Brian Forrest accepts no insurance and operates on a "cash only" basis. His prices are posted in his waiting room:

Urine Test: $25
Pap Smear: $55
Cholesterol Check: $25

Dr. Forrest admits that what he does is not a solution to big ticket medical costs -- for that he says you will still need catastrophic health insurance. But the secret behind his popular practice is eliminating all the staff and paperwork necessary to deal with insurance companies. This way, he's able to see fewer patients, spends more time with those he does see, and still makes a fine salary.

I went into medicine because I think the joy in medicine is spending time with patients, and trying to help them figure out how to improve their health. That's what I wanted to do. And what I was finding out more and more was the goal of a lot of medicine was becoming generating revenue by seeing more patients and increasing billing. And that's just not what I was interested in.
-Dr. Brian Forrest


A little more than a year ago, Tom Hiland found himself without health insurance, and in need of major heart surgery. Like a growing number of Americans, he did his research and wound up on a plane bound for New Delhi. Dick talks with Tom about his heart surgery in India.

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