Physician Patient

Archive for January, 2020

Patient Power: Voters Can Help Fix the Minnesota Health Care Mess

Sunday, January 26th, 2020

References:
Interview with Star Tribune medical care writer Chris Snowbeck (1/26/2020):
Perverse Financial Incentives in Today’s Medical Care Payment System
“48% of all federal government expenditures can be traced to health care in its many hidden forms,” says Dr. Marty Makary https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/profiles/results/directory/profile/0018306/martin-makary in his 2019 book The Price We Pay (#1 above). According to Makay, “The problem is that when you take a great profession [medicine] and apply some of the most perverse financial incentives [to delivering patient care] in a cascade of money games, the [corporate] stakeholders [such as hospitals, clinics, employers, and insurance companies]   
are leaving richer and richer, and the only one not making [or saving] a ton of money [on medical care] is the patient.”
Fact: [Medical care] prices are going higher and the secret discounts [to the system’s middlemen] are getting larger.

How can we achieve medical care and medication price transparency to individual consumers and employers? 

 

To counter the rising costs of medical care to patients and families, who are the true consumers of medical care, patients and families need to have tools to recognize patterns of over-treatment and make prudent choices based on transparent pricing. To empower consumers we also need, as Dr. Marty Makary says “a new generation of brokers and advisors who work via a flat fee or an hourly advisory fee relationship unbeholden to the [“provider”] companies that offer medical care products and services.
During the 2020 Minnesota legislative session, please contact your state legislator asking them to further  efforts to empower patients and families with transparent consumer-friendly online information to  help them shop for discretionary medical care, third party insurance, and medications.
We’ll support and post 2020 state and federal legislative bills which improve medical care price transparency for Minnesota patients and families.