MOUNTAIN VIEW, California--A discount health plan with no monthly fees has launched. Developed by a group of doctors nationwide, HealthSouk aims to provide Americans with access to health care providers who offer various treatments and procedures at a discounted price. In addition, patients can receive greater discounts for going to the doctor's office when the doctor isn't busy.Patients have the option to sign up for a membership online free at healthsouk.com. They have access to discounted treatments ranging from eye care to dental exams to cosmetic procedures. In addition, patients can add multiple family members to their plan as a part of their free membership package.HealthSouk's patent-pending model introduces a feature that helps doctors control the flow of their practice throughout the day and fill unused appointment slots and appointment cancellations with patients seeking discounted care. HealthSouk found that eight out of 10 doctors struggle with scheduling, appointment reminders, and cancellations. A doctor can simply log in to his or her account and configure schedules from slow to very busy in real-time, which allows the doctor to keep a full schedule and still accommodate patients.One of HealthSouk's founders, Dr. Neilesh Patel, has been an advocate of accessible and affordable health care. While in college, Dr. Patel cofounded HealthCare Volunteer, a nonprofit organization that enables volunteers around the world to provide free dental and surgical procedures to underprivileged people.Patel and other doctors started the Healthsouk program after they witnessed health clinics go out of business due to rising unemployment, increased health-care costs, and cutbacks in employee health coverage. "Due to the struggling economy, there is a major disconnect between patient needs and patient flow in health practices today," said Dr. Patel.Health discount plans are a multi-billion dollar industry in America. Started several decades ago, the concept requires patients to pay a monthly membership fee to a management organization, which then gives the member a prenegotiated set of cash-pay fees with any in-network health provider. HealthSouk changes this concept by eliminating monthly fees for patients and doctors. This model aims to make part of the health-care system more efficient and accessible without the risk of price fixing or loss of the doctor's reputation. Prices for procedures are updated every 60 seconds to follow the flow of doctor's offices, and the site is HIPAA-compliant with complete privacy.Oral antioxidants: a weapon in wound healingSince there are no monthly fees, HealthSouk will only generate revenue from advertising and other adjunctive services.HealthSouk also optionally prescreens patients prior to choosing a particular treatment. In addition, patient's have free access to health-care providers in a question and answer style format. This process helps ensure doctors that only qualified candidates can sign up for a certain procedure. As for practitioners, signup is free. They can set their discounted price according to their preference and they have flexibility to update settings.With HealthSouk's services, patients and doctors can have an online community that helps them achieve a common goal: access to affordable health care.For more information, visit www.HealthSouk.com or call (310) 928-3611.To comment on this topic, go to community.pennwelldentalgroup.com/.