There’s a lot to be dissatisfied with when it comes to healthcare.
I won’t bore you with a laundry list. You surely know most of it.
And you’re surely burdened by at least some it, no matter how much money you have.
But recent murmurings in Congress shone a spotlight on one aspect of our healthcare system in the U.S. that really gets my goat.
And not that everything is too expensive (but it definitely is).
It’s that you rarely know the cost before you buy.
I’m all about a free market. It’s what’s driven America to be what it is.
Supply & demand. What the market will bear. Competition. Entrepreneurialism.
Sure, there can be flaws with any of it. On the whole however, it’s good for growth, for jobs, and ultimately, for the consumer.
But when it comes to health, there’s often no opportunity to “shop around.”
Hospitals don’t tell you what your procedure will cost before they do it.
All too often, you don’t know how much a drug will cost until you’re standing at the pharmacy window.
And the cost if you have insurance is often different than if you don’t.
Isn’t it time we had a little more transparency here? Letting you know you often do have a choice… and with choice comes cost savings?
Look, transparency isn’t a cure-all. Most hospitals do most services. But they don’t all do them equally well.
Readmission rates, complications, the experience of the staff, rates of mortality, citations for hazards… this stuff all matters.
But can you imagine shopping for anything else and never knowing how much it cost until after you’ve agreed to buy it? And having no chance to backtrack… and certainly no “money back guarantee?”
I don’t know how to solve this problem. Maybe some “disruptor” will upend the healthcare system and become the “Amazon” or “Uber” of health.
Though I’m not sure it’s worth the cost savings to pull out my cell phone and be treated by someone on their “side hustle.”
Not a lot of people shop around. Too few ask questions. But the ones that do can save money.
And asking questions can save you unwanted and unnecessary procedures too.
Food for thought.
Editor, Patriot Health Alliance