Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Treating the $1400 Cold

[Welcome Industry Radar readers!]

“Over 20,000 Georgians visited the emergency room last year with dental problems,” said Cagle. “The top condition treated in Georgia’s emergency rooms last year was an upper respiratory infection — mainly just a cold.” Treating that cold at a doctor’s office could cost $100; at the emergency room, $1,400. Non-emergencies added $33 million to emergency room expenses last year.

Who goes to the ER for a cold?

Apparently quite a few.

The solution?

create something he calls Safety Net Clinics for indigents, something similar to the clinics for paying patients now being added by chains such as Walgreens, Publix and CVS, which has 224 MinuteClinics across the nation and is opening 28 in the metro area.

This is an idea from a politician I can actually applaud.

The next step, then, is to increase affordability, by allowing consumers to shop for policies across state lines, free of mandates interest-groups have coerced state legislatures into adding on.

I have never understood this thought process. Policies in NY are higher than those in GA for a reason. When yankees start buying policies in Georgia and carting them back home where medical costs are higher do you think the carriers might catch on and reprice those products?

This is not like those who trek to NC to buy cigarettes and take them back home.

At least he made a good start.
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