Six Companies Pushing for Transparency in Health Care Pricing Six Companies Pushing for Transparency in Health Care Pricing
Six Companies Pushing for Transparency in Health Care Pricing
The Daily GOOD
Get our daily dose of information and inspiration. Sign up Now ›
Doctor and HelloHealth founder Jay Parkinson explains why we don't know what it costs to take care of our bodies, and how that might change.We know how much we're going to pay for almost everything in America, except health care. We can scan a barcode at Barnes and Noble and see how much Amazon charges for the same item. But say we're uninsured in America and we need a hernia repair, one of the most common procedures performed by surgeons. Why won't they tell us how much it will cost ahead of time? The simple answer is the cash paying patient isn't the main customer of the sickness industry. Since 90 percent of sickcare is based on pre-negotiated prices between doctors and insurance companies, it's in their best interest to keep prices secret so they can negotiate more strategically. While this is great for them, it's a frustrating pain for the uninsured, cash-paying patient looking for a little transparency. But as today's version of co-pay health insurance becomes increasingly more expensive, more and more people are going to be asked to spend, say, the first $5,000 out of their own pockets on sickcare. Consumers are going to start demanding transparency. Over the next decade, we'll start seeing a whole new consumer-friendly ecosystem evolve to meet the demands of this changing market. We're starting to see it already. Here are a few examples:
- Change:Healthcare: They're like BillShrink for medical bills. They help you save money on medical bills, prescription medications, and the like. If your doctor prescribes you a medication, they'll tell you if there's a low cost generic equivalent or where to get that medication for the lowest price in your neighborhood.
- Minute Clinic: If you have one of the illnesses they can treat, they'll tell you exactly what to expect and how much you'll spend.
- CarePractice: If you live in San Francisco, you're lucky enough to experience a growing number of savvy young physicians who realize that an insurance-free practice is the best way to provide affordable health care. Since a doctor's practice typically has about 65 to 70 percent overhead-mostly due to staff required for insurance billing-eliminating insurance allows a practice to function with much less overhead and, therefore, lower fees. Qliance in Seattle is another example.
- Target: If your doctor prescribes a generic medication, it's highly likely that Target offers it for $4 a month.
- MyMedLab: If you need or want a test, head to MyMedLab and order it for yourself. Head down to a testing center and they will perform the test. Log in to MyMedLab and you'll see your results. STD University is similar and also available for all of your STD testing needs.
- Bumrungrad: Say you're uninsured and you need a hip replacement. You'll spend a cool $70,000 here in the United States. But if you would like to spend a fraction of that, you can travel to Bangkok where you can have an Apple Store-like healthcare experience for a fraction of the cost.
Although these aren't perfect solutions, they're surely better than nothing. Good luck out there.Jay Parkinson, MD, MPH launched the online healthcare service, Hello Health, in 2008. More recently he co-founded the design and consulting firm, The Future Well, to design services and products that create health and happiness.
— Like us on Facebook to get more GOOD —
Turning Rubbernecking in Bangladesh into a Lifesaving Moment Without 9-1-1 or a reliable ambulance system, one med student and 100 volunteers launch a mobile-based emergency response system
Female Monks Challenge Buddhism’s Misogynistic Tendencies Long relegated to being the handmaidens of the more revered male monks, devout Thai women are now establishing their own religious order
If You Really Love Nature, Don’t Live Anywhere Near It Almost universally, people living in urban locations have a much smaller environmental footprint.
For Ernesto Yerena, Los Angeles is the City of Hustle and Hope Artist Ernesto Yerena’s visual love letter to the City of Hustle and Hope.
Books Stop Bullets at Tragic FSU Shooting A tragic shooting, a confusing profile of a would-be-killer, and a student saved by his library books
These Grandmas Smoke Pot For The First Time. And They Absolutely Love it. They take a few epic bong rips before waxing poetic on the merits of ironing, mistake a vaporizer for a sex toy, and stonily lose track of whatever thoughts they were briefly attempting to articulate.
If You See One Iranian Vampire Western Movie This Year, Make it This One The chador-wearing, skateboarding, vampire protagonist of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night would fit right in to a John Hughes movie
There’s No Reason for Any Nation Not to Vaccinate its Feral Dogs Targeting the semi-wild dogs that roam city streets and rural hamlets all over the world can break the chain of rabies transmission and eliminate cases in humans
The Secret Origin of Neil deGrasse Tyson It took perseverance, intense training, and a willingness to defy expectations to turn a curious kid into the sharp, affable scientist we know today.
VITAMINS 101: Know What You Need Get the dish on your nutrition
Games Theory: 6 Views of a Mockingjay Just how socially relevant is The Hunger Games? Let us count the ways.
Here’s to You A toast to local hotspots around the world The best of the world’s neighborhood nooks.