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  • Why You Should Eat More Prunes November 24, 2014
    Many people are not fans of prunes, yet sales of “dried plums” are on the rise. Prunes have been a popular digestive remedy for decades with their fiber, stool loosener, and natural laxative compound. They are a sweet treat for …
  • ACA Architect Gruber Insults Voters November 21, 2014
    MIT economist Jonathan Gruber (an architect of Obamacare) has emerged in a handful of videos insulting the American public. In one video, Gruber discusses how voters’ “lack of economic understanding” enabled a politically unpopular tax on “Cadillac” health plans to …
  • Are You Vitamin D Deficient? November 19, 2014
    Many Americans believe they are not at risk for Vitamin D deficiency because they eat D-fortified foods. These foods do not contain enough Vitamin D to benefit your health. Vitamin D is not a regular vitamin, but a steroid hormone …
  • Ambulance Drones Could Help You Survive a Heart Attack November 17, 2014
    Heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the United States. The odds of surviving a heart attack outside of a hospital is only 8%. Four out of five heart attacks occur at home where there is no emergency …
  • Eugenics in America – In the Name of Science November 17, 2014
    Marilyn M. Singleton, M.D., J.D. presents at the AAPS 71st Annual Meeting, September 5, 2014, Charleston, South Carolina
  • Supreme Court to Examine Issue of Obamacare Subsidies November 14, 2014
    The Supreme Court will decide the fate of Obamacare yet again. This new case challenges the key issue of subsidies used to assist in purchasing insurance in the exchanges. This decision to hear the King v. Burwell case has surprised …
  • Apples to Protect Against Obesity November 12, 2014
    An apple a day may be as beneficial as daily statin use. Apples and pears reduce the risk of stroke by more than 50%. A new study has found that the bioactive compounds in apples not absorbed during digestion boost …
  • Diabetes Awareness: Testing & Treatment is Important November 10, 2014
    Diabetes mellitus, known commonly as diabetes, is a metabolic disease where a person has high blood glucose (sugar) because they do not produce enough insulin or the body’s cells do not respond properly to insulin. Glucose cannot enter our cells …
  • Tau Protein Causes Alzheimer’s, Not Plaque November 7, 2014
    A new study has discovered that the protein tau (the “tangles”) is the main cause of Alzheimer’s disease, not plaque as was previously believed. Tau determines how much amyloid protein stays in the cell and how much is secreted outside …
  • Direct Primary Care Reduces Healthcare Costs November 5, 2014
    Direct primary care benefits both the patient and the physician. Many people could afford medication if they could afford the office visit it stems from.  Clinics that take insurance have to hire extra people and invest in special technology in …
  • The Problem and Solution for Our Healthcare System November 3, 2014
    by Timothy D. Wingo, MD; Owner – Atlas Healthcare, PA It is obvious to everyone that the healthcare system in our country is broken and getting worse. What is not so obvious is what it would take to fix it. …
  • 3 Steps to Get Rid of Heartburn and GERD Forever October 31, 2014
    Heartburn and GERD are caused by too little stomach acid and bacterial overgrowth in the stomach and intestines. There are three steps to treat heartburn and GERD without drugs and keep them from returning. Reduce factors that promote bacterial overgrowth …
  • OMTEC 2014 – Keynote Interview with Industry Leaders (Installment 5 of 5) October 31, 2014
    Original, essential content from OMTEC. Industry leaders Michael Butler, Dirk Kuyper and Mike Matson discuss the intricacies of supplier relationships within the orthopaedic industry.
  • OMTEC 2014 – Keynote Interview with Industry Leaders (Installment 4 of 5) October 31, 2014
    Original, essential content from OMTEC. Industry leaders Michael Butler, Dirk Kuyper and Mike Matson discuss the intricacies of supplier relationships within the orthopaedic industry.
  • OMTEC 2014 – Keynote Interview with Industry Leaders (Installment 3 of 5) October 31, 2014
    Original, essential content from OMTEC. Industry leaders Michael Butler, Dirk Kuyper and Mike Matson discuss the intricacies of supplier relationships within the orthopaedic industry.
  • The Wasting of Taxpayer Money October 29, 2014
    by G. Keith Smith, MD If you are looking for proof of the fact that the wonderful folks in D.C. are more interested in lining the pockets of their pals than demonstrating good stewardship of the loot from the robbery …
  • Giving Birth in America is Most Expensive in the World October 27, 2014
    While a woman is preparing for giving birth, one worry she doesn’t want to have is about the cost of delivery. Insured women are finding that some policies do not cover maternity care, services that most often do not have …
  • Physicians are Not Medicine’s Top Earners October 24, 2014
    Physicians are the most highly trained members of the medical industry’s force, yet have median compensation.  The largest salaries go to the Medicrats who oversee the business of medicine. Insurance CEOs average $584,000 compared to surgeons ($306,000) or a general …
  • Health Benefits of Honey October 22, 2014
    Honey has been used as a natural sweetener long before sugar. Bees collect pollen from  plant to plant, which is passed along from bee to bee until it eventually is deposited into the honeycomb. They beat their wings to evaporate …
  • Rotten Food and the VA Hospital October 20, 2014
    by G. Keith Smith, MD Imagine for a moment that you own and operate a restaurant knowing that if you provide spoiled food and rotten service, you will subsequently make more money.  You openly employ strong-arm and intimidation tactics to …

Shopping around for surgery

At MediBid, we feel that the solution is really straight forward. The third party payer model has more medical bureaucrats (MediCrats), than it does medical professionals. Furthermore, it is based on a model with hides and increases the real costs. In order to bring down costs, transparency and access is required, and that’s what we do at MediBid. In order to get actual pricing, all you need to do is click HERE to create a request.

http://www.economist.com/node/21546059

Shopping around for surgery

Companies try to make health-care costs transparent

AMERICANS spent $2.6 trillion on health care in 2010, a staggering 18% of GDP. Yet few of them have the faintest idea what any treatment costs or how it compares with any other treatment. Prices vary wildly and seemingly without reason (see chart). Insurance terms require a dictionary. For most Americans, buying a procedure is akin to choosing a house blindfolded, signing a mortgage in Aramaic, then discovering the price later. Slowly, however, this is changing.

The past decade has seen a shift in how people pay for medicine. Americans’ health spending is growing at a slower pace. This is partly because of the downturn, but not entirely. The rate of growth fell every year between 2002 and 2009, note David Knott and Rodney Zemmel of McKinsey & Company, a consultancy. There are many reasons for this—for example, many costly drugs have lost their patents. But spending habits also seem to be changing.

Most American workers receive health insurance through their employers. They typically shoulder the costs without realising it. The more a company spends on health insurance, the less is left over to pay wages. Now employers are trying to give staff an incentive to think hard about costs.

Under “consumer-driven health plans”, workers must cough up part of the price of any treatment before their insurance coverage kicks in. Most have an untaxed account to spend on health; they think twice before depleting it. In 2006 only 10% of workers had to pay at least $1,000 before their insurer picked up the rest of the bill. By 2010 that share had more than tripled.

General Electric (GE) shifted its salaried employees into consumer-driven plans in 2010. It urged them to shop around for bargains, but they found this nearly impossible due to a lack of information. “People started saying: ‘If you want me to be an active consumer, I need to know prices,’” explains Virginia Proestakes, the head of GE’s benefits programme. When employees asked doctors for prices, the doctors were baffled. They had no clue how much different insurers paid for the same procedure, or what share a patient would pay. A recent study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a public watchdog, reported similar problems.

Barack Obama’s health reform requires hospitals to list standard prices each year, and more than 30 states have either proposed or passed laws to promote price transparency, according to the GAO. None of these measures has come close to solving the problem. Few provide enough data to allow people to shop around.

So private firms are having a go. GE, for example, hired Thomson Reuters, an information firm, to show employees the cost of different services. Thomson Reuters analyses prices from prior purchases—by workers at GE and other firms—to show the cost of a given procedure at different hospitals and clinics.

Another company, Castlight Health of California, has made transparency its sole mission. Working with big firms, Castlight assembles data from past transactions so that employees can shop for doctors online and read reviews posted by patients. Castlight wants to do for health what Travelocity did for air travel, explains Giovanni Colella, the founder. Mr Colella’s co-founder is now the chief technology officer for Mr Obama’s health department.

These plans face several obstacles. Health care is more complicated than flying. A traveller knows she wants to get from A to B, and that more or less any airline will get her there in one piece. So it is easy to rank air tickets by price. By contrast, someone with a heart problem may be unsure whether to pop pills, operate, change his diet or do nothing. Informed medical decisions require a tonne of information.

To make matters worse, health insurers are reluctant to share data about costs, says Bobbi Coluni, who leads Thomson Reuters’s consumer-health unit. If an insurer has a contract to pay one hospital $7,000 for a caesarean and a contract to pay another hospital $10,000 for the same service, and this information leaks, the first hospital will lobby for a higher price. GE’s contracts with insurers stipulate that GE owns the data from workers’ past health purchases. But such agreements are rare.

Despite this, greater transparency seems inevitable. Smart insurers are hawking their own tools. Cigna uses Thomson Reuters’s technology to support its “cost of care estimator”. Aetna, another insurer, offers a sophisticated web tool that patients use more than 67,000 times a month. Meg McCabe of Aetna hopes that consumers will soon be able to use their smartphones to enter symptoms, find doctors, compare prices and schedule an appointment.

Such experiments will serve insurers well. If Mr Obama’s health law stands, millions will soon shop for insurance on new exchanges. The easier the plan is to understand, the more people may pick it. A fully transparent market is years away. But a bit of sunlight is creeping in.



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.
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