LASIK surgery is our favorite example of how price drops and quality/value rises when patients pay for medical care out of their own pocket rather than with someone else’s money (ie your insurance company). When LASIK was only available as an out-of-pocket procedure, patients became savvy consumers and researched the procedure type, equipment, and credentials of their surgeon before they made their choice. If an ophthalmologist wanted to bring in more patients, he/she either had to lower the price, or improve the quality of what was offered and get the information out there to the consumers through marketing, or do both. LASIK was in high demand, so more surgeons became trained in newer methods of LASIK, bought newer equipment, and still dropped their prices to compete with those that had not made the improvements because consumers were still looking at the bottom line. These improvements and price drops were the choice of the surgeon, and they were glad to do it when it resulted in increased patient flow and more revenue for their business.
Improve choice and prices by creating competition – post your medical need on MediBid.com and let physicians and hospitals send you Bids.
I like the comment about health care as an all-you-can-eat buffet. :) This video is from reason.tv.