John Goodman returns to a theme of his blog: third-party payment really screws up the healthcare "market". In no sense is the American healthcare system a functioning market. Or, if it is, patients are certainly not true participants in the market.
Of all the people in the health care system, none is more central than the physician. Fundamental reform that lowers costs, raises quality and improves access to care is almost inconceivable without physicians leading and directing the changes. Yet of all the actors in modern health care, none are more trapped than our nation’s doctors. Let’s consider just a few of the ways your doctor is constrained, unlike any other professional you deal with.
Lack of Electronic Medical Records
Inadequate Advice About Drugs and Other Therapies.
Inadequate Patient Education.
What is the common denominator for all of these problems? Unlike other professionals, doctors are not free to repackage and reprice their services in customer pleasing ways. The way their services are packaged is dictated by third-party-payer bureaucracies. The prices they are paid are similarly dictated. Doctors are the least free of any professional we deal with. Yet these un-free actors are directing one-fifth of all consumer spending!