Nacogdoches doctor exploring new form of medical assistance

Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

With healthcare cost continuing to climb, an East Texas doctor is adding a new service to his practice as an alternative to traditional insurance.

Tuesday doctor Eddy Furniss, III launched Furniss Direct Health as a way to fight back.

"People are getting pushed to HMO plans, people getting high deductible plans, cost are going up," Furniss said.

Furniss compared the new plan as a gym membership. Patients pay a registration fee and a monthly $60 fee. In return they get services at a discounted price.

"You get unlimited doctor visits, greatly discounted lab and procedures, so it takes away that access problems of co pays and deductibles," Furniss said. "If someone has a pre-exisiting condition and good insurance, direct primary care may not even be needed. "Furniss Family Medicine is not going away. I will continue to serve Furniss Family Medicine patients with private insurance. We've created Furniss Direct Health as an alternative for people who choose to manage health care costs differently."

Furniss took on the new service after visiting with Doctor Jeremy Smith who offers a concierge service.

"I have been doing it for about a year," Smith said. It is going really good. My patients have seen a big increase in savings that they are able to use other places."

Smith's patient Julian Ornelas found the new healthcare market place to be a maze of frustration.

"We about fell over in our chairs," Ornelas said. "We figured there has to be another solution. This is more more intimate. You don't have to fell you are in a cattle call."

Smith said what him and Furniss are doing is new,but in the coming years it could become the norm.

"The reason the cost got so high is because consumers had no clue what things cost," Smith said. "They consume a product and have no idea what it is going to cost them. We're changing that. We are putting very defined prices on things and allowing the consumer to make choices."

For more information on the new service, click here.

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