RSS Articles and Information
  • Maine doctors ditch insurance, offer monthly subscriptions for primary care April 23, 2014
    Dr. Michael Ciampi of Bangor, Maine stopped taking insurance last year. Now, along with the fee-for-service practice model, he has added a subscription option.  A monthly fee covers all office visits from physicals to diagnostic testing to minor in-office procedures.  …
  • Haggling for Health Care April 21, 2014
    There are new ways to cut your medical costs dramatically. John BenJohn of New York placed a request for nasal polyp surgery on MediBid and had no outstanding bills or hidden charges after the procedure. After placing a procedure request, …
  • Are Eggs Good for You? 30 Reasons to Eat Eggs April 18, 2014
    Eggs have gotten a bad rap in the past and unfortunately, many today still believe the wide spread misinformation. Are eggs good for you? Do they cause heart disease? Do they raise cholesterol? Should I avoid them? Depending on who …
  • The Commercial Gym – A Little House of Horrors April 16, 2014
    by Lee Kurisko, MD I’m was on vacation a week ago in Florida.  I was more than happy to vacate Minnesota that week.  Despite being the first week of April, Minnesota is still getting snow.  My kids are teenagers so …
  • The Difference Matters: Dick Morris Interviews Jan Iverson April 15, 2014
    Jan Iverson speaks to Dick Morris, on April 14, 2014, about citizen-led efforts to hold Hillary Clinton accountable for the Benghazi cover up.
  • Arkansas Surgical Hospital Ranked Among Most Affordable in Statewide Study April 14, 2014
    San Francisco (April 9, 2014) – NerdWallet Health, a website that empowers consumers to make better decisions about healthcare and insurance, has found the ten most affordable hospitals in Arkansas – and North Little Rock-based Arkansas Surgical Hospital ranks sixth. …
  • Costa Rica Vacation & Medical Check-up Special April 11, 2014
    5 Days and 4 Nights Package to Costa Rica is available for $1899! It includes over 25 individual laboratory tests and scans to provide a thorough Biochemical assessment of your health, as well as 2 day tours in the area! …
  • MediBid Safe From Heartbleed Bug April 10, 2014
    As I’m sure most of you have heard, an encryption flaw in the OpenSSL cryptographic software library has inadvertently caused one of the biggest security threats ever seen on the internet. The OpenSSL cryptographic software library is used to secure …
  • Dr. Jeffrey Gallups Interviews Ralph Weber about MediBid April 9, 2014
    MediBid does what the government and politicians have been unable to do — offer low medical costs and choices.  MediBid was initially developed for Canadian patients on medical waiting lists.  Employers were interested in the model to provide benefits for …
  • The three most dangerous poisons to never eat, drink or inject again April 5, 2014
    Episode 2 of “Awakenings” with the Health Ranger reveals the 3 most insidious poisons you should NEVER eat, drink or inject again! Hear more episodes of Awakenings at NaturalNews.com
  • How to live GMO-free – Awakenings with the Health Ranger April 4, 2014
    Important tips on how to live a GMO-free life. Get Monsanto out of your food and off your back!This is episode 1 of the Health Ranger’s new series “Awakenings.” See more Awakenings episodes at NaturalNews.com
  • The Road to Serfdom is Paved with Good Intentions April 2, 2014
    by Marilyn M. Singleton, M.D., J.D. What do TSA groping, NSA data-mining, and mercury-laced fluorescent light bulbs have to do with keeping your doctor? They are the products of seductively entitled but flawed laws. As Daniel Webster said, “good intentions …
  • The Patient Physician Relationship Under ObamaCare April 1, 2014
    AAPS Capitol Hill Briefing: March 27, 2014 Currently there is a lot of discussion regarding health care exchanges and access to insurance. However, insurance is not care. Even if the exchanges are eventually fixed, they cannot assure access to care. …
  • After three years, Edison woman’s life is getting back on track March 31, 2014
    Debbie Pasnak suffered several broken bones in a fall, but Medicaid denied her the medical procedures she required for treatment. Medicaid kept her waiting for surgery in hospitals and rehab centers for three years. Eventually, her friend told her about …
  • If You Like Your Scam, You Can Keep It: the Attack on Out-of-Network Doctors March 28, 2014
    by G. Keith Smith, MD A patient who wanted to have a procedure at our facility asked us to file insurance. We discovered that if she had her surgery at our facility rather than at an “in network” hospital, her …
  • Doc discovers Obamacare’s shocking, dirty secret March 26, 2014
    by Lee Hieb, MD I am being impacted in many ways by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or, to give credit where credit is due, “Obamacare.” But the most stunning attack on my person came this month in …
  • Webinar: MOC Update, Paul Kempen, MD, PhD & Ken Christman, MD March 26, 2014
    Learn more at http://ChangeBoardRecert.com. “MOC, MOL, OCC and now C-MOC Beyond mere Board Certification” Presented March 23, 2014 by Paul Kempen, MD, PhD with intro by Ken Christman, MD.
  • Free Markets in Healthcare Aren’t “Broken” – Just Not Allowed to Work March 24, 2014
    by Elizabeth Lee Vliet, MD Democrats excel at “message discipline”—sticking to talking points whether their script is factually correct or not. Repeated often enough, the script becomes “truth.” Democrats’ script says: “The U.S. healthcare system is broken. Free-markets didn’t work; …
  • 2014 03 23 13 02 MOC Update March 24, 2014
  • A Better Way to Save $1 Trillion March 21, 2014
    Cutting back on national medical spending would save money, but the quality of patient care would decrease and waiting times would increase.  These are the problems other countries are having.  Money is saved by creating a free market in medical …

Market Based Patient Care

by Ralph Weber

Health plans are expensive because medical care is expensive. Will shopping across state lines for insurance fix that? It’s a nice sound bite, and will allow the insured to drop some of their own state mandates, but the biggest input to the cost of a health plan, is the underlying cost of the medical care financed by this plan. If you buy a plan in Shreveport, and use it in San Francisco, it will trend up in costs.

During the year-long healthcare debate, I did not hear ONE person ask why medical care is so expensive. They barely even asked why health insurance was expensive, but if 85% of the premium for health insurance must be paid out in medical costs with the new medical loss requirement, and we have not addressed the cost of medical care, then insurance premiums will CONTINUE to rise at an unsustainable rate. Enacting health insurance reform without addressing the cost of medical care, is like putting a new roof on a building which was in an earthquake.

Here’s how the Feds put the fix on health care pricing.

It all starts with a Federal agency called the Center for Medicare Services (CMS).  They set the reimbursement rates for some 14,193 medical procedures.  How they come up with these figures is based on a “secret formula” calculated like most government methods of accounting. Then CMS pays the AMA (American Medical Association) to produce and manage “secret codes” called Current Procedural Terminology codes (CPT codes).  The AMA then sells these codes to all doctors and hospitals, and insurance billing clerks.  Altogether, they receive annual income reported to be $69.9 million, to manage these codes. Insurance companies then use the reimbursement rates as a starting point in determining how much should be covered as an insurable benefit under the term, you no doubt recognize: “co-insurance”.

In any business model where prices are fixed and paid by a third party, the patient (consumer) and doctor (provider) both have an incentive to consume more services than may be needed in order to gain maximum benefit. This is why these programs have become entitlements, rather than indemnity programs. If patients travel to Kansas for a bunionectomy or to New Jersey for a knee replacement, or Oklahoma for a Coronary Artery Bypass Graft, and you allow doctors and hospitals to compete across state lines, with their own rates, THEN you will achieve fair market rates, and sustainable costs.

Each doctor and hospital has different costs for different procedures, and each medical provider includes different services with any given procedure. When a third party arbitrarily decides to pay Dr. X in Los Angeles the same as they pay Dr. Y in Miami, some doctors will be overpaid for certain procedures, and underpaid for others. Patients will receive “cost effective” procedures, which may not be what they really need. How many times have you turned on the TV and heard a vendor offer, “If you have Medicare, we’ll get it paid for, or you get your scooter free.”? Would you get one if you had to pay $25,000 of your own money? Take your car to a body shop and get an estimate to fix a dent. Then say: “oh, I forgot to mention, I have insurance”. The price will suddenly go up. This is because both the consumer and the provider are spending other people’s money.

So how can we address the costs of medical care? By allowing doctors and hospitals to compete across state lines, not just insurance companies, and by having the patient see the true cost of the care, and direct their own care. A key element completely missed in healthcare reform.

In recent years, an industry known as “Medical Tourism” has emerged, and is projected to grow at an estimated 35% per year. Medical tourism brokers send people overseas with “promised” savings which compare “billed rates” in the US to “paid rates” overseas. There often exists an added incentive for these brokers to send you overseas in the 20% to 80% or more that they get in kickbacks from the facility they send you to. These kinds of kickbacks are illegal in the US, so these brokers usually won’t refer you to a US facility. Deloitte estimates that by the year 2017 as much as $599.5 billion per year of medical care revenues could be lost from the US, in favor of overseas facilities.  There is a very important place for overseas medical facilities in caring for US patients, but they are often not competitive on price. When US doctors and hospitals are permitted to set their own rates, they can usually compete very favorably with overseas facilities. A service such as MediBid.com allows patients to shop domestically as well as internationally, and define their own criteria for medical care.

The status quo, and the reformed healthcare model lack transparency, as well as financial incentives for both provider, and consumer to reduce costs. In order to reduce costs while encouraging technological improvements, we need to introduce competition among doctors and hospitals.

Ralph F. Weber, President of MediBid, was born in Vancouver, Canada, and grew up in Thailand, Nepal, and Germany. After starting an international health insurance brokerage in Canada, Ralph’s wife was injured by a 2 ½ year wait for surgery, and his son sustained a head injury which was not treated because of the lack of a CT machine at the hospital in Canada. In 2005, Ralph moved to California to obtain surgery for his wife, and expanded his brokerage there. In 2006, Ralph participated in a healthcare forum with presidential hopeful, Rudy Giuliani. Ralph later contributed healthcare reform policy to Mayor Giuliani, and state assemblyman, Mike Villines. Driven by a passion for greater access, transparency, and value in healthcare, Ralph and a group of private investors started MediBid. MediBid does what politicians have failed to do to healthcare for decades: To control costs, expand access, and offer quality choice and value to patients through a free market system. MediBid allows patients to shop for medical for medical care in a free market system.

 

Self Funded



At MediBid, we restore market forces to medical care. Doctors get to set their own rates based on their training, experience, and outcomes, and patients get to shop for medical care across state lines and international borders. Many times with MediBid, you will find procedures that are more effective than procedures allowed, or covered by health plans. Transparency and competition are the only way to achieve reasonable costs. Many of our employer clients offering group health insurance through MediBid save $5,000 per employee per year. Those are substantial savings. Patients are saving an average of 48% vs. insurance discounted rates, or 80% vs. retail. Contact us for more information.
Share

Comments

This entry was posted in Cost of Health Care, Free market medicine, Health Care Reform, Obamacare and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
Categories
Bulk Email Sender

Switch to our mobile site