While health insurance may be necessary for catastrophic events, it can also get in the way. A Minnesota-based organization is seeking to help doctors and patients connect in a way that avoids the paperwork hassle of insurance companies.

Patient Doctor Direct, based out of Long Lake, is free to patients. (Doctors pay a modest annual fee to be listed in the directory.) It says that many doctors will offer a discount of 20 to 50 percent for cash payments.

It seeks to appeal to several groups of people, including those without insurance and those with insurance policies that carry a large deductible.

When cash is king, the concerns that other people have–government bureaucrats snooping into medical histories, insurance company bureaucrats practicing medicine–go away.

Cash payments aren’t the silver bullet for the problems of health care. (For example, it does nothing to change certificate of need regulations, prevent lawsuit abuse.) But cutting out the middleman has benefits.

For more on Patient Doctor Direct, see this recent article from the Dakota County Tribune.