Dr. Attaman and Bitcoin featured on KOMO 4 News Seattle
Dr. Attaman was interviewed by Komo 4 News for a segment which aired today. The article deals with bitcoin and medical privacy.
BELLEVUE, Wash. — A Bellevue doctor is believed to be the first in the state to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment.
The volatile virtual currency is gaining popularity, but Dr. Jason Attaman said he’s doing it to improve privacy.
Pain is something that Attaman specializes in. But he also knows the pain of dealing with insurance payments, co-pays and the cost of health care.
“I want to make it easy for patients to pay me, and I have an interest in technology,” Attaman said. “I wanted to adopt this for other patients like me. We live in a very tech savvy area.”
Attaman is likely the first doctor in Washington to accept Bitcoin, which is a peer-to-peer virtual payment system.
Computers create a highly encrypted number that has a dollar value and can be used as currency, but only electronically. It sounds complicated, but Attaman said the transactions are simple.
“Its really simple,” he said. “A lot simpler than a credit card.”
But Attaman likes the currency for another reason: privacy. Because no banks are involved, there are no fees and no credit cards that track a patient’s health history via their payments.
“Using Bitcon keeps the doctor-patient relationship very private, which is something that I like a lot,” Attaman said.
The downside to Bitcoin is that it’s volatile. Once valued at $666, one Bitcoin is now selling for $245
“Generally, if I get a Bitcoin payment I just cash it out for dollars before the values change,” Attaman said.
Despite those huge price swings, some tech-savvy patients see Bitcoin as a trendy way to manage the cost of pain relief.”