Doctor opens own practice to help lower patient costs
By Liz Welter
Not many small towns can support a medical practice.
Athens, with a population of about 1,000, now has two.
After working for 10 years as the physician at the Marshfield Clinic Athens Center, Dr. Vinoo Cameron on Aug. 2 opened Hope Clinic just across the street.
The Internet, computers and additional technology combine to make it easier for a doctor to be a solo practitioner, said Cameron, an internal medicine physician.
“In this electronic age, it’s not difficult to go on your own,” he said. “I want to give people the freedom of choice” in medical care.
“Health care costs are going up and up. There needs to be a way to use competition to bring the cost down.”
A group of residents gathered at an Athens restaurant recently shared their stories about Cameron.
“He isn’t what you’d call a pill pusher,” said Rusty Balz. “Ever since he came to Athens, I’ve gone to him. I was just there to see him.
“He’s not set up for all that lab work, so he had me go across the street to the Marshfield Clinic for that.”
Hope Clinic has a complete lab, but refers patients to the Marshfield Clinic across the street for X-rays, Cameron said.
Said Donald Kreft: “Dr. Cameron takes the time and listens to you.”
Just 10 patients a day are seen in the office, said Cameron’s wife, Jane. She and three other employees complete the office staff.
“They are more than employees,” Vinoo Cameron said. “They are my associates. Without them, there is not much I could do.”
If he is not able or equipped to do the necessary work in his office, Cameron said he refers his patients elsewhere.
“Of course I refer a lot of my patients to the Marshfield Clinic. Their laboratory work is excellent. For specialists, I refer to whomever is the best,” he said.
Cameron said he resigned from Marshfield Clinic to start a new practice because he wanted to pursue research into using computer technology in medical diagnostics.
“Medical costs need to come down,” he said. “We are working on a way to do that here.”