Mr. HIStalk recently did a great interview with Dr. Jordan Shlain, founder of Current Health. It was a fantastic read. Here’s a sample:
I want to give you a softball question here, because I’ve seen your answer elsewhere, but I think it bears repeating. What’s wrong with the average patient-physician-insurance company relationship that’s common today?
All the incentives are all wrong. The insurance companies have an incentive to not pay the doc because its more money to them.
The fundamental problem is the patient walks into a doctor’s office, kind of with someone else’s credit card, and says, “I want this, this, and this”. They’re not paying for it. They are not accountable for it. “I want an MRI, doctor. I want a fancy blood test. I want all these things, but I don’t want to pay for it. I want somebody else to pay for it.”
So the fundamental problem right now is that there’s no price transparency, so nobody knows what anything costs, really, number one. Number two is there’s no accountability on the patient’s part to bear some of the cost of what they either consume or use. I fundamentally believe that insurance, as a construct and a principal, is a financial instrument. It’s not a healthcare instrument. Health insurance is no different than car insurance or life insurance. You put money in, and if something really bad happens to your car, your house, or your life, there’s money on the other side of that.
Health insurance was never intended for, if you look at the old model, a sprained ankle or an eye exam or a physical exam or for minor surgery. You paid that by yourself, and if you hit your $5,000 or $10,000 deductible, you were covered. Therefore, car and home and health insurance should be and is personal bankruptcy protection. That’s what’s it’s supposed to be. It’s to protect you in the case of unforeseen catastrophic loss. …
Go and read the full thing. You’ll learn a lot.