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Why 1st & 2nd Opinions?

Who is looking out for your healthcare, your insurance company and their clerks or the hospital billing clerks? Up to 40% of Americans today do not have health insurance or have high-deductible policies.   Even for the majority of Americans who do have some form of prepaid healthcare benefit, whether from insurance or Medicare and Medicaid, there is still no guarantee of actual good health. Health insurance does not protect you from sickness, but rather protects your home and property from liens and seizure by hospitals and doctors. So in a narrow sense health insurance does prevent seizures, just not epilepsy.  Good health is both a gift from God and the result of careful preventative maintenance and cannot be insured.
                      Despite the fact that at any one moment in time up to 40% of Americans may not have healthcare benefits, well over 90% of Americans have had or will have healthcare as an entitlement sometime in their lives. This has seeded the notion in our social consciousness that healthcare must be an entitled right for every American. Paying cash for medical care feels a little unnatural and almost un-American. However, it is actually the demand for entitlements and expectation that medical care should be a free benefit that is contrary to the free-enterprise economics that have made America the most successful and blessed nation in the world. While there is nothing particularly wrong with insurance or government entitlements there are strings attached to these "benefits" that most patients do not notice.
                      Insurance of any sort is actually a promissory note or a loan. In exchange for your monthly premium payment the insurance company agrees to lend you access to its immense wealth if needed. Insurance is payment in advance of a loan you may never need. Proverbs 22:7 says, "The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender." Health insurance payments to your doctor or hospital make you into a servant of the insurance company. Since that is their source of payment the doctors and hospitals also become servants of the insurance company rather than of their patients.   That is the cold, hard reality of all third-party payment plans.   Food stamps permit the government to dictate what you can or cannot buy.   Automobile and homeowners or business owners insurance permits the insurance company to tell you how many miles you may drive on that policy or where smoke detectors must be placed in your home or business. Malpractice insurance also gives the insurance clerks the power to tell a doctor how to practice medicine.
                      Insurance is a socializing factor formally institutionalizing the bearing of one another's burdens. For catastrophes and overwhelming losses insurance can be a really good thing. While none of these powers granted to insurance companies are evil or even necessarily bad for us, they do complicate matters and sometimes interfere with medical care.   There is a profit margin in that interference and lately the profit-taking by everyone in medical care has been a little too vigorous for most families to afford.
                      Like income tax withholding, your health insurance premium is taken out of your paycheck by your employer before you ever see it. Both are less painful ways to pay what can get to be forms of extortion as the amount deducted becomes too great to bear. In the case of taxes your only recourse is at the polls to vote in or out your representatives to government. But with other benefits like health insurance you have the choice to bow out and not pay that premium. You may elect to have only catastrophic loss health insurance with a $2,000.00 deductible where the insurance claim would only kick in for big surgeries etc.   So where do you go to get medical care for cash in an industry that is so inflated by all the layers of cost of doing business that a simple office call may cost over $100.00 for ten minutes with the doctor? (By the way, that doctor may not clear $20.00 for that encounter after he pays for staff, overhead, and of course insurance billing clerks and malpractice.)
                      The answer is 1st & 2nd Medical-Opinions. For episodic medical care and advice about medical issues that are not catastrophes, urgent care, minor lacerations, sprains and other simple medical problems we have removed the middle man. These are 1st opinions because we do not need to contact anyone else to help you.   We have lowered our overhead by eliminating billing clerks, insurance clerks, and malpractice premiums. A 1st Opinion is a bargain at $25 per quarter hour; or less than an oil change. But there is more of an advantage for each patient than less expensive care in this arrangement. In exchange for payment in cash at the time of service you become the master and your doctor becomes your servant of only your needs without any interference from outside third parties. This is the economy that built America and developed the best medical care in history anywhere on earth.
                      But wait! There's more! By freeing ourselves at 1st & 2nd Medical-Opinions from any obligation to third parties we are able to directly serve the needs of patients in a uniquely powerful way. While most Americans are getting very good medical care, about 20% of patients on any given day are not getting better or did not get what they came to their doctor for.   One of the things patients desire as much as getting well is a better understanding of their illness and more knowledge and wisdom about how to stay healthy.   A typical HMO doctor may have less than ten minutes to spend with each patient. Sick or worried patients take more than ten minutes to diagnose and treat. Often the physician must spend only a minute or less with some relatively healthier patients to carve out time for the problem patients with more serious or advanced diseases.   Many caring family doctors and even some advanced specialists will extend their days and make every effort to answer all the questions of each patient. But because of unforeseen emergencies, differences in personalities, and a host of other vagaries of life, many patients cannot get their questions answered.   In a pay-by-the-hour consulting practice like 1st & 2nd Medical-Opinions the doctor will spend as much time with you as you decide to afford.
In the case of critical illnesses, advanced disease states and difficult diagnoses, it never hurts to take a second look by different sets of eyes and review the data in different minds.   Two heads are better than one. For cases where there has been poor progress, unexpected deterioration, worsening symptoms, or conflicting opinions among specialists an independent analysis is often clarifying. Remember that all the specialists and surgeons are reimbursed by insurance companies and restrained by their own malpractice policies and hospital privilege limitations. An independent analysis by an experienced outside physician not governed by any insurance may often be critical. In cases where communication may be necessary with insurance companies to advocate for payment of certain declined treatments, or in cases where other doctors are involved, a second opinion will be provided for about twice the cost of an ordinary 1st opinion. We are not claiming to be smarter than your doctors, only smarter than all the insurance company and government clerks and policies, protocols, and procedures that may have interfered with your doctors' medical care.
Fee Schedule:

1st Opinion (episodic or recurrent care & advice) $25/Quarter Hour

2nd Opinion (analysis of care by other doctors) $50.00/Quarter Hour

Hours by Appointment only at:

Medical OpinionsCharles J. Thurston, MD
1st & 2nd Medical-Opinions
13316 Marietta Road (Hallsville)
Kingston, Ohio 45644
(740) 655-2626


1st & 2nd Medical Opinions
13316 Marrietta Rd.
Kingston, OH 45644 (Hallsville)
Calls accepted 740-701-1437 Monday through Friday 10:00 A.M. to 4 P.M.

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