Tuesday, March 08, 2016

From the "No Kidding" Files

Courtesy of FoIB Holly R, we learn that making health care more convenient doesn't necessarily make it any less expensive. "Bending the cost curve down" has become the Holy Grail, but as we've seen over and over this just doesn't happen in a vacuum (or at all).

Or put in more relevant terms:

"Rand researcher Dr. Ateev Mehrotra said a minute clinic is to healthcare what an iPhone is to email.
“Because it’s so convenient for me to check my email on my iPhone, I check it a lot. Way more than I may need to,” he said."

Of course, checking your email really doesn't cost anything above the monthly Verizon (or whichever) charge; very different from the per visit charge (reasonable as it may be) at the Wally World Minit Clinic. And thus over-utilization rears its ugly head:

"[T]hanks to the rise of all these clinics, folks with a cold, the flu or a sore throat are getting care instead of staying home."

"So what?" you may ask, it's their choice, and their dollars. Ah, not so fast, grasshoppa: there's always a cost: over-utilization means higher insurance rates, for one thing. And even if one accesses that clinic without insurance. there's a societal cost as that provider is no longer available to care for a more sickly patient.

As I mentioned to Holly, this reminds me of a favorite saying:

You can have it good.
You can have it fast.
You can have it cheap.

Pick any 2.
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