World Health Congress

Pure brilliance this week at the World Health Care Blog.

Like Dr. Jay Parkinson‘s (the coolest doctor in the world btw, here is his full-time blog) flat out indictment of our health care system:

Let’s talk about the characteristics of people who use healthcare in the US:

1. They spend someone else’s money on routine and specialized goods and services. “The United States has the best healthcare someone else can buy.”

2. They have no easy way to gain knowledge when they need it (like Pricegrabber) about how much they will “spend” on a given service and, often times, product.

3. If they do have knowledge about the amount they’ll spend, it’s often in the form of the amount of the co-pay (a heavily discounted price that cheapens the value of a doctor’s visit to a near meaningless ten dollar bill).

4. There is no way to shop for value.

5. There is no way to have the consumer experience similar to a visit to the Apple Store because doctors are paid for volume rather than the retail consumer experience.

6. Online rating systems are terribly flawed. Only people with an agenda (either a great experience or negative experience) go out of their way to rate their doctors. Therefore, “consumers” have no ability to measure value.

7. Value, in the mind of the consumer, is how long they waited for an appointment, how long they waited in the doctor’s office, how much they had to pay for the medication they were prescribed by a physician, and how much of the transaction their insurance covered.

8. All of these “values” are worsening in the minds of consumers in the current healthcare climate due to the trends showing an ever-increasing cost-shifting to employees and decreasing physician reimbursements causing an increased volume of patients in the doctor’s offices.

9. Value, to consumers, is increasingly becoming “Did I actually see my doctor?”

A host of bloggers are covering the World Health Care Congress in Washington D.C. There is a lot of good stuff to comb through. Here’s the first post with bios of all who are blogging this week. Start there and read through the rest.

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