Giving Up on Red Tape, Doctors Turn to Cash-Based Model

LAREDO — For 12 hours a day, the waiting room at Dr. Gustavo Villarreal’s family practice is often packed with patients, people who will pay a flat $50 fee for the convenience — or necessity — of a walk-in, quick-turn doctor’s visit. Villarreal’s practice, which does not accept any form of health insurance, has thrived despite its location in a city where nearly one-third of the population lives below the federal poverty line.  

At both the state and federal level, efforts are underway to decrease Texas' sky-high rate of residents without health coverage. But Villarreal is among a rising number ...

Full Story

Comment Policy

The Texas Tribune is pleased to provide the opportunity for you to share your observations about this story. We encourage lively debate on the issues of the day, but we ask that you refrain from using profanity or other offensive speech, engaging in personal attacks or name-calling, posting advertising, or wandering away from the topic at hand. To comment, you must be a registered user of the Tribune, and your user name will be displayed. Thanks for taking time to offer your thoughts.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login | Sign-Up