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Local doctor changes healthcare; Charges monthly rate instead of insurance, Medicare or Medicaid Posted: May 02, 2013 3:38 PM PDT Updated: May 03, 2013 8:34 AM PDT Written by Lauren Walsh, Reporter - email Dr. Robert Lamberts in Martinez is changing the world of healthcare, at least in his office. He doesn't accept insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. Instead, He's charging patients a flat monthly rate to be their primary care doctor as much as they need.
"We don't control the system," said Lamberts. "It's the insurance companies and the government that control our healthcare system up to now."
After 18 years in the healthcare world that Doctor Robert Lamberts calls flawed, he decided to make a major change.
"I felt like I was on a hamster wheel every day, and at the end of the day I was not able to give the kind of care that I wanted to give."
He says the world of medicine is so focused on making money that doctors don't have proper time for their patients.
"It's financially in doctors and hospitals best interest for you to be sick, for you to need stuff, for you to have to come in."
Lamberts' practice is focused on keeping patients healthy and out of the doctor's office.
He talks to patients often through instant messaging, texts, emails- whatever it takes to treat small problems before they become serious.
He says the healthier his patients are, the more patients he can care for. In his office, that means more money. Patients are charged a flat monthly rate of thirty to sixty dollars a person.
"What I'm offering for that money is me. It's accessibility. It's being able to contact me before the problem gets big."
That fee only covers primary care.
Mark and Lisa Pendlebery are patients of Lamberts, and like 85 percent of his patients they also have health insurance. They tell me they pay the extra money for Lambert's accessibility and quality of care.
"If you go to the doctor twice a month, you've already paid more than you pay here because you don't pay a co-pay every time you go," Mark told me how he actually saves money through Lamberts service.
Lambert tells me he has a national following of other doctors monitoring his success and considering the same move.
"If I can prove that we can save money, if I can prove that patients are happier, that doctors are happier," said Lamberts.
Lamberts currently has about 250 patients. He wants to grow his practice to around a thousand patients and hire another nurse, dietician and councilor.
You can visit his website at: doctorlamberts.org