Clinic that doesn’t accept insurance opening in Idaho Falls
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IDAHO FALLS – A doctor with an unusual business model is moving in front of Winco at 263 N. Woodruff next to Liberty Tax & Loans in Idaho Falls.
Dr. Jim Brook tells EastIdahoNews.com he’s hoping to open his doors early next week.
“I’m working on some structural changes — reversing a door and putting up a shelf, putting up some sound insulation so the guy next door can’t hear (confidential) conversations, things like that,” he said.
He worked with Randy Waters at SVN High Desert Commercial and Century 21 High Desert to lease the 700-square-foot space.
Brook has been a family practitioner out of his home in Osgood for the last 15 years. He sees about 45 patients a week with ailments similar to what you’d see at many other private practices. Some of the most common conditions he treats include sinus infections, high blood pressure, diabetes and depression.
“I don’t deliver babies,” he says.
But Brook says his clinic has one distinct difference: it does not take insurance.
“I don’t want to take money that’s confiscated from one person to pay my fees for somebody else’s care,” Brook says. “I think that’s completely immoral, and I don’t want anything to do with it.”
He cites Medicaid as an example of an insurance company that takes money from one person “by force” to pay for another person’s health care.
Avoiding insurance allows him to provide a much more affordable service, he says.
“I charge $2.70 a minute. So if it’s a 20-minute visit, it’s $54,” Brook says.
Brook says it also allows him to spend more time with patients and delve deeper in providing care.
“I spend more time with people and therefore I can’t see a high volume, but in doing that, I can provide a better service,” he says. “I take care of quite a few patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Most docs refer patients to a rheumatologist for that … but I delve more deeply … by using affordable medications that work just as well.”
Spending more time with patients often includes house calls for any patient who is unable to come in or just prefers having the doctor come to them.
“The patient is my customer, the insurance company is not my customer, and so that’s why I’m able to do those customer-friendly things, like house calls,” he says.
Providing care to those who can’t get out of their house is one of the most rewarding aspects of the job for Brook. He says he also enjoys getting a patient on the road to recovery after figuring out an issue that’s been misdiagnosed or treating something that’s gone untreated because of cost.
‘Modern medical care with old-time service’
Brook’s approach to practicing medicine is inspired by his extensive research on the medical industry.
“I used to be in favor of government-run medicine until I went to medical school and saw what was happening and what it was really doing to people,” he says.
He decided to open a clinic that focused on free-market principles. He has continued to study through the years and in 2016, published a book entitled “The High Price of Socialized Medicine.”
Brook says he loves being a doctor that provides “modern medical care with old-time service.” He hopes his new office will provide a more central location for patients.
“I enjoy being a doctor. A lot of doctors are telling their kids and grandkids not to go into it because the regulation is so severe,” he says. “I would do it again, and I have been trying to convince my grandsons to do it.”
Dr. Jim Brook, D.O., is inside the plaza near Winco. Its hours of operation will be 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday. He will continue to see patients out of his home in the evenings.