America has reached a level of insanity where we now have the fox guarding the hen coop. Honestly the hens need to rise up and guard their own coop - hens guarding hens. Just over the past few months we have seen 100 Billion dollars of consolidation in the healthcare industry creating THREE colossal healthcare insurance companies insuring just about every American and not a word against such move. The foxes have silenced the hens...
A recent study from the Blue Cross Blue Shield organization reports on the massive price disparity insurers are facing in regards to angioplasties in many of the major markets across the nations.
"Variation in cost across markets is also significant and can vary by as much as 295 percent. This continues to concern national employers seeking solutions that help their employees in choosing quality settings for their care, while reducing overall costs."
The larger population areas reflect a higher disparity in price. In many cases one would argue that patients having a heart attack or the need for angioplasty would have no time to "go shopping" for the best deal. The BCBS report is interesting because it does address the ability to shop by separating out non-life threatening procedures from life threatening while making their assumptions.
"Many angioplasties nationally are performed while a patient is suffering a heart attack. This analysis focuses solely on those procedures performed under less urgent conditions, making it possible for consumers to consider both cost and quality in choosing the best facility for their care. Cost and quality information are included in many transparency tools to inform consumers on where to seek high-quality, affordable care."
In conclusion the report gets it right and also confirms what is wrong with our system.
"These findings reinforce the importance of competition within a market and the need to provide consumers with effective tools to help them make informed decisions about their care."
"Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies recognize the importance of provider selection when members are faced with seeking cardiac care."
Yes, good provider selction and informed consumers will be the solution to the healthcare crisis or as CashDoctor.com has defined the solution as an Empowered consumer with a transparent free market place. Where the BCBS solution goes wrong is when the competition, provider selection and tools are all controlled by very few, politically connected, insurance company thus creating not a transparent free market but an oligarchy.
A TRUE free market solution would empower the consumer with the ability to make their own choices regardless of networks but within the confines of a transparent free market place. Consumers should be able to go to any provider (no networks) as long as the providers price is within the limits of the plan - reference based pricing. Providers would be competing for patients on the basis of service, quality and price - OH what a novel idea. You dislike your doctor go to another one. Insurance companies would reimburse as per their reference schedule and if the insured voluntarily choose a provider whose rate is over the reimbursement rate, the difference would be paid by the patient. If the amount is less than the reference based price, the insurance company could share the savings with the patient, thus creating a differentiator between insurance companies.
The danger our healthcare system faces today is the increasing power of the insurance companies networks and it just hit the critical level with the consolidation of four major carriers. Power equals the function of dependence and soon every American will be dependent on three companies for their network of doctors. Patient choice will be limited and provider choice will be crushed because they will be forced to take whatever reimbursement they are offered by the three oligarchs.
Americans need to rise up and support the patient empowerment transparent free market movement by visiting our website www.CashDoctor.com, read our Healthcare Solution and sign our petition to congress requesting they implement our 8 word solution to healthcare.