Instead of having health care insurance-company and government-driven, how about changing the paradigm? I read a great story at the Huffington Post today by Catherine New describing a scenario by which patients can pay their deductable share of medical bills directly, bypassing their insurance carrier and save as much as 50% of their personal cost.
Now, if most people elected that route, paying medical bills directly, the insurance companies would lose that revenue stream and try to make it up elsewhere. That is where regulators would have to watch to prevent them from retaliating.
This circumstance is truly just a tactical measure that some patients might want to take advantage of. It doesn’t get to the heart of a solution for affordable healthcare for all Americans. However, it highlights a big part of the problem, insurance companies.
- If you let the private sector manage health care as they are doing, the business entities want to maximize profit. They will do that at patients’ expense as history proves.
- If you opt for a government-managed system, then everyone gets “average” care and average performance, theoretically. The system may get lax and mediocre.
- A third option is to have patients and health care providers work out the system together with government regulating the system, though not with micromanagement.
There will be issues in health care that arise from poor or deficient service delivery that results in litigation. The cost of litigation is another driver against affordability. There too, if we can have patients and health care providers working more closely in partnership, the cost of litigation can be reduced, I think.
Having worked with the American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, Joint Commission, American Nursing Association and state public health organizations, I am confident that affordable healthcare is achievable when patients are working with health care providers without the middle entities.
“Health Insurance Costs: Two-Tiered Medical Billing For Insured and Uninsured Frustrates Hospital Patients
The Huffington Post | By Catherine New Posted: 05/30/2012 1:53 pm Updated: 05/30/2012 1:59 pm
It is the paradox of medical billing: Medical insurance means you might actually have to pay more in some cases.
Take the story of one frustrated patient in Southern California who needed a CT scan of her abdomen and pelvis after colon surgery. Her visit for the scan at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center cost $6,707 total. With her Blue Shield of California insurance, her out-of-pocket cost was $2,336.
But what if she had not used her insurance and paid straight cash instead? Then her cost would have been halved — only costing $1,054 according to a story in Los Angeles Times.