Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Cost transparency: I'll drink to that!


"Health care is a service like any other. We ought to expect price transparency for medical goods and services to make informed choices that maximize value."

I, too, have been chasing this wild goose for many, many years. And I still believe that it's a noble goal.

But as long as government and insurance - in other words, 3rd party payers - are in the mix, it's not a viable one.


And why would any physician agree to this? And perhaps more critically, how would they?

Which brings me back to my first point (above): so long as the government (through Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement levels) and insurance (trough multiple provider contracts) distort the price (that is, that which the consumer/patient/insured pays), then there's no practical way for this to occur.

Which of course brings to mind Direct Care (whether Primary or other): when one pays the piper oneself, then it's reasonable (and viable) to pre-determine the cost of various services beforehand [ed: up to a point - what if the knee surgery uncovers something more serious?]. Of course, there's still an affordability challenge (and, often, an accessibility one), which means we still have a long way go.

Which is still another reason I'd love to see true cat plans re-legalized.
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