Has Maine found a bipartisan solution to easing health care costs?
The authors discuss how Maine’s Right To Shop law will allow patients access to cost information and therefore make an affordable choice for their healthcare. Transparency is important, and one would argue essential in medicine. However, there is a vast bureaucracy created to determine the “value and quality” attached to perverse incentives. There is no transparency in that process, but health systems with the best resources generally have the best scores, and they spend millions of healthcare dollars to prove it.
In reality, outcomes are rarely based on money spent. The medical education system has its own checks and balances that ensure excellent quality. Just because a provider remains independent or is unwilling to follow network guidelines that may not apply to the patient in front of them, they shouldn’t be penalized for putting the patient first.
Taking good care of a patient does not need to be complicated, and finding good care isn’t either. We don’t choose our pilots, we assume the airlines consider safety as a priority. Likewise in medicine, since illness is not planned or predictable, we assume quality and trust every doctor and nurse will do their best for us, because it’s their job to do so, under all circumstances.
Simplify access, be transparent about the entire process, and let the patients choose what is best for them. The price of patient care is actually affordable, once you remove the incentives. What do you think?
Paula Muto MD FACS
Appropriately on our second birthday, we proudly announce the launch of UBERDOC 2.0. UBERDOC is all about making it easy for a patient to get to the best doctor, right away. In order to meet patient demand, we wanted to make it as easy as possible for doctors to join, so we now offer the service to specialists free of charge.
UBERDOC is for patients who do not have the time to wait for a referral, or need the convenience of seeing a specialist nearby. Specialists are not available at urgent care centers and walk-in clinics. With UBERDOC, the best surgeons are readily accessible for a transparent price.
The best part - UBERDOC is free for the patient too. There are no monthly membership fees. You pay only when you see the doctor. Create an account for free using a health savings account or credit card. $300 gets you to the best every time, and only $50 for Medicare patients. Any subsequent care can be through insurance.
It’s time to make it simple again.
When you become a doctor, one of the fundamental tasks required is to be a great listener. We listen to the patient’s heart beat, their breathing, their intestinal sounds, and most importantly, their story. How a symptom starts is usually a clue as to why they have it and therefore how to treat it.
Recently, we have stopped listening. The current sequence of necessary steps that delivers a patient from symptom to cure is impractical, if not all together wrong. We are so focused on the process we ignore the purpose.
When you want to see a specialist, most insurance carriers require that you first get a referral from your Primary Care Physician (PCP). Why? Insurance companies don't want people self-referring to specialists for something that might not require that level of attention. In our current day in age of WebMD as a major resource, this is basically an additional step to ensure that a medical professional agrees that you require a specialist's care.
UBERDOC was happy to be selected to exhibit at TIEStartup Con this year. Nearly our entire team was able to be there, attending breakout sessions and networking with others who are in the startup community and those specifically involved in digital health innovation.
As republicans struggle over repealing Obamacare, and as they argue over process and politics, the solution to healthcare appears in doubt. The patients and doctors universally agree, the system is broken, but the politicians don’t seem to understand how to fix it. UBERDOC understands the need for patients to have an answer in this uncertain time. Direct access to the best specialist every time, for a transparent price. This way, no one has to wait or be afraid that their health insurance will be taken away when they need it most.
A single bundled health-care bill based on quality measures is one size fits all measure. This isn't the solution.
Dr. Paula Muto, CEO and Founder of UBERDOC, weighs in against Economist, Jason Furman, in his WSJ article, "A Health-Care Fix That Works".
Starting this week, UBERDOC will be sponsoring the Boston Globe Welcome Wagon, a colorful bus that will travel around to local colleges welcoming students back to school. UBERDOC will be educating new and returning students about finding a local specialist when they are away from home. Welcome Wagon plans to speak to over 10,000 students in 22 colleges.
The health care crisis cannot be solved until the actual problem is identified correctly. If the government focused only on paying for health care rather than health coverage, it would be much simpler problem to solve.
Patients are really excited about the opportunity to take charge of their healthcare with UBERDOC. A simple cash model removes insurance hassles and restricted networks. With no need for a referral, patients can see the doctor they need, right away.