New medical clinic in Ore. cuts out insurers

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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- A new kind medical clinic in Eugene, Ore., is offering patients another option for getting primary care.

Rather than billing insurers, Exceptional Health Care charges patients a monthly fee between $39 to $79, depending on their age, plus $20 for each office visit.

Advocates say such clinics, known as "retained medical practices," will help thousands without health insurance. They say the practices save money by eliminating layers of insurance billing and reimbursement, and enabling primary-care providers to spend more time with patients on preventative care.

The Register-Guard (http://bit.ly/GPXHti ) reports the Oregon Legislature last year cleared the way for such practices by exempting them from the regulations insurers are subject to. Instead, these clinics must be certified each year with the Insurance Division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services.

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Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com