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  • Protect Your Children and Yourself from Phthalates December 19, 2014
    Phthalates are chemicals used since the 1950s to soften plastics. They are continuously released into the air, food, or liquid. How do you and your children become exposed to phthalates? Ingestion – When babies suck or chew on an object …
  • Holiday Specials on Lab Tests December 18, 2014
    Give the gift of health and wellness this holiday season. This is a great way to be proactive and keep up with your health as well as that of your loved ones. Below are the December specials from DirectLabs. You …
  • The Truth About Sugar December 15, 2014
    The past decade’s focus on low-fat diet has led to an unintended consequence, an increase in sugar consumption. Many people are not aware of exactly how much sugar they are actually consuming. The sugar, processed food, and beverage industries do …
  • Yet Another ObamaCare Miscalculation December 12, 2014
    by Marilyn Singleton MD, JD On November 13th, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report finding that that enrollment for the state-operated Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), created by the Affordable Care Act, was significantly lower than expected. …
  • Ralph Weber Talks About Root Causes of High-Priced Healthcare – Video December 10, 2014
    The main reasons that health care costs so much are because of lack of transparency, lack of competition, and the complexity of the system. There is a lack of transparency between the patient and the provider, as well as between …
  • Here’s The Thing #6: Root Causes December 10, 2014
  • Yogurts: Not All Are Created Equal December 8, 2014
    by Adrienne Snavely Most commercial yogurts are full of artificial colors, flavors, and sugar, which stimulate disease-causing bacteria, yeast, and fungi in the gut. This overpowers your good bacteria, increasing the chance you’ll get sick. Healthier yogurts are pasteurized at …
  • The Scientist, the Sage, and the Homunculus: The Psychology of Direct Pay Medicine December 7, 2014
    How Patients and Doctors Make Decisions About Payment for Care. Dr. Robert Emmons and Dr. Josh Umbehr of http://Atlas.MD discuss the psychology behind direct pay medical care. From September 4, 2014, AAPS 71st Annual Meeting.
  • “The Rich, Fat Giant & the Free Market” – A Bedtime Story December 5, 2014
    by G. Keith Smith, MD When my children were young, I used to make up bedtime stories for them, stories they recently reminded me they remember even now.  I hope you enjoy the following actually true story, many versions of …
  • Hysteria’s History Episode02 FINAL December 4, 2014
  • Should You Worry About Phthalate Exposure While Pregnant? December 3, 2014
    Chemicals called phthalates are used to make plastic items more flexible. They are found in packaged foods and personal care products. In the past few years, studies showed that phthalate exposure put pregnant women at risk of complications and fetal …
  • Beyond Mere Board Certification: Paul Kempen, MD, PhD December 3, 2014
    Dr. Paul Kempen exposes the truth about Maintenance of Certification (MOC) in a presentation to physicians in the St. Louis area on November 22, 2014.
  • Health Benefits of Coconut Oil December 1, 2014
    Coconut oil is a saturated fat that helps you lose weight, decreases inflammation, fights infection, and protects the brain from Alzheimer’s disease. It works the opposite way other saturated fats do by improving the ratio of “good” to “bad” cholesterol …
  • Thanksgiving Special from MediBid for Physicians & Patients November 26, 2014
    Happy Thanksgiving from MediBid! MediBid is offering 25% off annual registration to give thanks to all of the freedom fighting doctors and facility administrators we have out there! We have a large group of self pay patients looking for quality …
  • Fraser Institute: Waiting Your Turn, Medical Wait Times in Canada 2014 November 26, 2014
    The Fraser Institute study, Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada, is Canada’s only comprehensive measurement of wait times for medically necessary health care. Based on an annual survey of physicians practising in 12 specialties in each …
  • 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

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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