Tag Archives: health reform debate

MEDICAL PROVIDERS THAT PUBLISH PRICES: A RADICAL APPROACH TO HEALTH REFORM?

The raging health reform debate has completely obscured recent disclosures by some medical providers of shocking information that has long been held among their most closely guarded secrets: their prices. These innovators are responding to the rapid four-year growth of high-deductible health plans that incentivize consumers to demand cost-effective solutions for their medical problems. Stated simply, a lot more patients want to know the prices of medical services before they buy them.

I recently discovered one striking example of this trend that promises an entirely different and brighter future for American health care than the one currently fermenting its way through the legislative bowels of our nation’s capital. It is the website for The Surgery Center of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City. Click on the link and see something extraordinary: a leading-edge medical facility that actually tells you its prices up front—but only for patients who pay them in full and in advance. Otherwise, if you want the Center to bill your insurance company and fight through its bureaucratic layers for uncertain payment at some distant time, the price will be higher.

Posted in Health Costs, Health Reform Goals, Medical Quality | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

AN OPEN LETTER TO OUR CHILDREN: YOU’RE ABOUT TO BE SHAFTED – AGAIN

Dear Kids:

If you’ve paid any attention to the raging health reform debate, you probably think the key issue is whether we will get a public health insurance option or a system of government-supported cooperatives. Wrong. The main event for you is that your under-40 generation is about to be shafted by my over-50 one—big time. We’re about to enact yet another one of those intergenerational transfers from you to us that we’ve become so good at, having gotten away with it on Social Security ($17.5 trillion in unfunded liabilities), Medicare ($74 trillion), and the national debt ($11.7 trillion). To put these numbers into perspective, the entire U.S. GDP is only about $14 trillion. Oh, well, in for a penny…

Posted in Health Costs, Health Insurance | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments