CAMDENTON, Mo. — People who live in and around Camdenton have a new option for treating minor health issues that don’t call for a trip to the emergency room.

Lighthouse Convenience Clinic is a walk-in clinic that lists its prices for service so people know what they’re going to pay. Payment is due at the time of the appointment, avoiding insurance and surprises on a bill later. The clinic recently opened and is located off Highway 54.

Dr. Steve Martin said the idea to open the clinic came to him during the COVID-19 pandemic when he saw patients being turned away or paying too much for simple procedures.

“We’re kind of going back to the way it used to be in that we have our prices listed before they write a check or charge your credit card. They know what they’re getting,” Martin said.

There aren’t many options for fast, affordable medical care in Camdenton, which is something John Backett, a patient at Lighthouse Convenience Clinic said he knows all too well.

Backett received two routine shots at Lighthouse, paying $120. He said if he had used his insurance, it might have cost him a little bit less…but that would have also involved either a trip to Lebanon and time off work or paying out-of-pocket at a local urgent care facility.

“I would have been out an hour plus at the time waiting for service at the doctor’s office if even if I would have been able to get in,” Backett said. “Best thing here was I was in and out and to work within 30 minutes and didn’t have to go anywhere. It was right here in town. It was worth maybe the little extra money that wasn’t my co-pay.”

Dr. Martin’s wife Laura manages the clinic. She said because insurance isn’t involved with their services, patients will never get a surprise bill in the mail.

“I think one of the most frightening things to get in the mail is a medical bill because you’re constantly seeing the doctor charge and the lab fees and then you think you’ve paid everything and suddenly you turn around and there’s another bill in the mail. And we just don’t think that’s right,” she said.

Dr. Martin said medical prices get inflated when insurance is involved.

“If insurance will pay it, the prices are just going up and up and up. So we’re trying to cut as much of that away as we can and come in at the lowest price we can. And yet still keep our doors open,” he said.

The Martins said they know they won’t get rich, but that their goal is to take the confusion and cost out of the way so people can receive the care they need.

“You know, we’re just trying to provide a service for everybody, people that have insurance but high deductibles or people that don’t have insurance or really anybody that needs to be seen,” Laura Martin said. “And they’ll know they’ll never receive a bill from us.”