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Quick care?s available, for a price

Phillip Unsworth makes about $50,000 a year as a roofing contractor. He’s 49, a single parent with a college-age daughter, and he’s gone through much of his adult life without health insurance. None of which makes Unsworth, who now carries health insurance, a likely candidate for the retainer fee practice at GreenField Health. But Unsworth is paying the $300 GreenField fee — for his 20-year-old daughter. Last year Unsworth’s daughter returned from Europe with health problems. The two of them started a search for a physician. But Unsworth’s daughter was leaving for college in California, and finding a primary-care physician who would see her before she left proved fruitless, until they happened upon GreenField. Once signed up with GreenField, Unsworth’s daughter was able to make a next-day appointment to see internist David Shute. “She got in within 24 hours, and the doctor not only spent enough time to address her issues but she still remains in contact,” Shute says. Using GreenField’s e-mail service, Unsworth’s daughter has kept in contact with Shute while at college. The $300 is significant cash for Unsworth, but he thinks it’s money well-invested. “They work hard at having a doctor really spending an hour with a patient,” Unsworth says. “Out of all this she’ll have a health-care provider she can work with on a long-term basis.” Ironically, though, Unsworth hasn’t signed up for GreenField himself. He says he rarely needs a doctor for anything but a yearly physical — so he’ll hold on to the extra $300. — Peter Korn