Yesterday, I talked about Quality of Life- and what could we do differently in Dayton that would give us a competitive advantage over other communities in recruiting people to move here.
Here’s an idea: since we have a duopoly in health insurance- with United Health Care and Anthem, and a duopoly in health care- in Premier Health Partners and Kettering Health Network- why don’t we just, as a community, cut out the insurance half?
Everybody is eventually going to have to buy insurance- or have health care, imagine if we just paid a flat fee per month to either Kettering or Premier (or better yet- a single fund)- and we skip the whole insurance middle man thing.
Health providers are constantly complaining about the low “reimbursement rates” from insurers and Medicare/Medicaid- so, we come up with a simple plan that cuts at least the insurers out. I’d also prefer if we started paying the doctors for keeping their clients healthy- instead of paying for procedures. We could have a community focused on healthy living- including healthy diets, healthy food, healthy offerings at restaurants etc.
The money saved by having a healthier community due to awesome preventive health care would lead to greater productivity and a higher standard of living.
As part of the condition- the hospitals would have to agree to operate like non-profits- with no huge salaries for administrators. Since the new health care provisions in “Obama Care” restrict the insurance companies to take no more than 20% for overhead- we’d have to have some kind of community-based oversight- to make sure that our health goals are being met.
I’d rather give my money to a doctor than an insurance company to manage my health care for me- wouldn’t you?
The real question is are the hospitals willing to take the challenge that creating a healthy community can beat the hell out of fighting with insurers for every nickel and dime for procedure-based medicine.
Considering that the insurance companies pay their people at the top way better than the health providers- it should be a no brainer to cut them out of the money.
One caveat that the hospitals probably won’t like- is that they’d have to go to a single price system- offering procedures at the same rate- insurance or no-insurance, but the savings in administrative costs alone ought to make it worthwhile. No more collection agencies- no more billing nightmares.
Who knows- maybe we could become the mecca of medical tourism in the US with this innovative approach.
Remember- we did teach the world to fly- maybe we can teach the insurance companies how to go fly a kite.