Monday, March 27, 2017

ACA/Obamacare: The Alternative Cash-only, No Insurance, Price-displaying Business Model of Health-Care

“How does Clinica Mi Pueblo offer these medial services at the “most affordable prices possible”? Here’s how: the clinic operates on a cash-only basis, with transparent prices that are listed both on the clinic’s website and on the wall at each clinic. Further, the clinic accepts no insurance, and it will not submit insurance claims on patients’ behalf. If patients have insurance, they can easily take the paperwork the clinic provides and file an insurance claim on their own. Reducing the costly, time-consuming mountain of paperwork associated with insurance, Medicare and Medicaid is one of the main reasons that cash-only medical clinics can keep their costs down and prices so low and affordable. That’s the same business model that keeps surgery costs so low/affordable at the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, the “free market-loving, price-displaying, state-of-the-art, AAAHC accredited, doctor owned, multi-specialty surgical facility in central OK” that has been featured on CD many times over the years.

So how does the cash-only, no insurance, price-displaying business model of the Clinica Mi Pueblo compare to medical coverage under Obamacare? Well, deductibles for individuals enrolled in the lowest-priced Obamacare health plans will average more than $6,000 in 2017, and families enrolled in bronze plans will have average deductibles of more than $12,000. Importantly, the deductible is the amount of money patients must personally pay out of pocket for health services before Obamacare insurance policies cover any medical costs. And what about the monthly Obamacare premiums? A 40-year-old unsubsidized bronze Obamacare plan patient will pay slightly more than $350 per month this year for their “health coverage” with a deductible of more than $6,000. And that’s supposed to somehow be “affordable” health care? In contrast, spending $350 per month out-of-pocket at Clinica Mi Pueblo, instead of going toward an Obamacare plan that provides almost no actual medical care, would actually purchase quite a lot of actual medical services.

Bottom Line: For routine medical care (annual physicals, flu shots, routine office visits, X-Rays, ultrasounds, MRIs, blood tests, etc.) most Americans, especially younger, healthier patients, would be much better off with a cash-only medical clinic like Clinica Mi Pueblo than with Obamacare, no? Under Obamacare, a 40-year-old American pays more than $4,200 per year in premiums. The out-of-pocket limit for an Obamacare plan is $7,150 this year but that doesn’t include the monthly premiums, so an individual could pay more than $11,000 out-of-pocket this year before his or her health plan would start to pay 100% of the costs of covered benefits. Only in some fantasy world of Big Government progressives and collectivists would that ever be considered an “affordable” health care system!” - An antidote for Obamacare: Cash only medicine with transparent pricing and no insurance — the future of medicine?, AEI, 03/26/2017

Link to the entire article appears below:

https://www.aei.org/publication/an-antidote-for-obamacare-cash-only-medicine-with-transparent-pricing-and-no-insurance-the-future-of-medicine/


 

Friday, March 3, 2017

ACA/Obamacare: Healthcare Supply-Side and The Story of Telemedicine v. The Angels of Mercy

“The goal of health care reform is to provide better health care to everyone at a lower cost, year after year. The solution is not to provide a better third-party-payer system — e.g., health insurance or government-provided health insurance — but instead to allow technological development and entrepreneurship to improve the current business model through groundbreaking innovations that empower consumers, improve quality and cut prices. We have seen it happen in many industries, such as transportation, room and board, and tech.

Of course, special interests benefiting from the old model do not appreciate being challenged. As a result, rather than make it easier for new models to thrive by ensuring that rules and regulations do not stifle innovation, politicians often choose to protect established industry players at the expense of consumers.”

“Some services strive to do something even more impactful by making health care more affordable and accessible, yet they are held back by outdated rules and hostile competing industries. Take, for example, telemedicine — the use of modern communications technology, such as videoconferencing and using smartphones, to facilitate patient care. It has the potential to help millions of Americans struggling to pay the skyrocketing costs of health care. But instead, some politicians are siding with their campaign contributors in the health care industry and not the constituents they supposedly are in office to serve.”

“The California State Board of Optometry used taxpayer dollars to engage in a public relations campaign against one telemedicine startup. Indiana enacted a law last year to prevent the use of online eye exams. Georgia and South Carolina have also enacted bans, and the Virginia Legislature just sent a bill to the governor's desk that would do the same.

All of this is done not to safeguard patients but to protect older and more expensive business models. This is highly unfortunate. Telemedicine not only can help reduce health care costs but also has the potential to greatly expand access to care — something politicians claim to care about. Yet many states nevertheless prevent doctors licensed in other states from offering telemedicine services to their residents. This makes it more difficult for poorer citizens living in medically underserved areas to achieve the same access to care that their wealthier neighbors can discover by traveling out of state.” - Cronyism Thwarts Telemedicine and Other Innovations, mercatus.org, 02/23/2017

Link to the entire article appears below:

https://www.mercatus.org/commentary/cronyism-thwarts-telemedicine-and-other-innovations