I wish I watched this video before I started FairCareMD. As it is, I stumbled upon it last night while looking for something else. Clay talks about the power of the people, in aggregate, to lead change. Here he addresses this effect in healthcare and prophesizes changes that we see beginning to reshape healthcare. If you don’t have 19 minutes to watch the video, the best parts are in his examples. He talks of a group of cancer patients that wanted to interview an oncologist for inclusion in their service. He speaks of a orthopedics medical device manufacturer that tried to address a design problem by covering it up and “retraining” doctors. One got annoyed, posted his thoughts, and a few weeks later everyone knew the device had a real problem and a class action suit was filled. He talks about the Catholic church’s historical success in covering up pedophile priests and why that method no longer works. And then he talks about healthcare institutions that resist the changes that are coming from Health 2.0 organizations and ePatients that would have them change for the better.
Most importantly, he predicts that the people will lead the physicians, hospitals, insurance companies, and even our government into the new era of healthcare. 2010 saw the highest insurance cost increases in a decade and 2011 looks like it will follow suit. More people are figuring out that the jig is up for insurance and coming here and doing other things like setting up clinics on their campuses. A great story about WeCare TLC was published in Inc Magazine the other day. A manufacturing company, in response to the high cost of healthcare, opened an on site clinic and saved over half. Even better, their employees were healthier and there were no “surprises” like heart attacks and strokes in 2010, typically the result of non-care, what usually happens when patient responsibility costs go up.
We at FairCareMD have embraced this concept, allowing the patients to lead. We already let patients request fair prices from their doctors, but our next step takes it further and automates the process. Just last night a patient called into our help line and said, in effect ‘Why am I paying $5,700 for an ACL surgery when I can get it for $3,200 on FairCare – and I have insurance!’ Needless to say, she is questioning the wisdom of insurance and going direct now. Later today we will call all the best orthopedic surgeons in her area and ask what they will charge for a patient going direct. At least one will be happy to provide a fair price because he or she gets paid better directly than insurance companies will pay for the same exact procedure. FairCareMD offers this as a free service to get the message out.
Thanks Clay for the explanation of why what we are doing is working! Your talk presaged the ePatient and #OccupyHealthcare movements. The question is, when will that tipping point be achieved and when will the institutions that are failing stop failing to notice that the world has moved on.