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A Low-Cost, No Hassle Program?
CNBC.com | September 12, 2011 | 05:08 PM EDT

The first boutique medical practice was started in 1996 by Howard Maron and Scott Hall, who offered care to wealthy customers willing to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month. A year later, Garrison Bliss and Mitchell Karton reformulated the concierge practice and opened Seattle Medical Associates , a monthly-fee practice with a maximum price of $65 per month.

Qliance Medical Group , Bliss' follow-on practice he founded in 2006, currently charges patients between $49 and $89 per month, depending on a patient’s age. The model is part of the long-term solution to affordable health care in America, he says.

"Universal health care may be attainable by combining competitive primary care—purchased by individuals directly from their doctor—and high deductible health insurance to cover catastrophic illness," says Bliss.

Patients at these practices are encouraged to have basic health insurance to pay for specialists and hospital care; otherwise uninsured patients pay out of pocket for care outside the direct practice.

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