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Nonprofit group hopes to raise awareness for independent doctors

Marni Jameson, executive director of the Association of Independent Doctors
Marni Jameson, executive director of the Association of Independent Doctors AID photo

A multi-state nonprofit group hopes to raise awareness of the potential cost-savings using doctors not affiliated with hospitals or other facilities may have for the average patient and is publicizing an online directory of independent doctors in several states, including South Carolina.

The Association of Independent Doctors announced the launch of its online directory late last month, touting the online tool as having the potential to cut health care costs by half or more. The directory, available at http://www.aid-us.org/directory, lists doctors’ contact information, specialization, organization name and address. About 40 South Carolina doctors are included in the directory so far.

Association executive director Marni Jameson said she hopes to make patients aware that they can save money by visiting independent doctors.

“As a nonprofit, our only aim is to raise awareness about the importance – not only to consumers but to America’s health care system – about helping doctors stay independent,” Jameson said.

There was a 24 percent decrease in independent doctors from 2000 to 2015, according to a recent Accenture study.

The organization is dedicated to promoting price transparency in health care, so consumers can better control their costs. “In Medicare alone, we could save $10 billion,” Jameson said. “The number one thing is to ask one question, if the doctor is independent or employed by a hospital, and a patient could save money.”

The Association of Independent Doctors has chapters in four states, including South Carolina. Jameson said doctors in South Carolina have come together to form a chapter to have a voice for independent doctors. The group has 1,000 members in 14 states.

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