12 Ideas to Lower Healthcare CostsToday Supreme Court Justice Roberts just sold America down the river and tarnished his legacy as a Justice.   In honor of his bumbling I am listing my changes to healthcare.  These are just the ramblings of possible a mad man but here they are in their quickly typed out glory.

  1. Remove Government Mandates that force insurance companies to cover everything including things that aren’t necessary. Insurance is forced to pay for pregnancy, alcohol treatment etc to people who don’t need it. IE: male patients and or non-drinkers etc. Allow insurance companies to offer ala carte services. Insurance should be for catastrophic care not for minor things. Imagine if your car insurance covered windshield wiper blade replacements or oil changes.
  2. Remove price controls on healthcare. If a doctor chooses to accept Medicare cases, he is forced to charge the same amount of money for all procedures covered by Medicare. No matter how much better one doctor is at performing a procedure than another, they both have to charge the same price. This discourages good healthcare practices. Competition breeds efficiencies.
  3. Allow more competition- Allow insurance providers to cross state lines.
  4. Allow doctors to post prices so that patients can comparison shop.  It’s tough to keep down costs when a) someone else is paying and b) you don’t know prices.
  5. Remove Government Regulations and Simplify insurance billing and coverage through standardization. My dermatologist has 6 people just for billing. Wasted overhead. This doesn’t include a staff to insure regulatory compliance.
  6. FDA/Drug company reform- We pay the highest drug costs in the world.  The FDA adds cost by banning imports taking drugs off the market. The FDA adds costs by forcing new drugs to be certified by them.  The drug companies aren’t innocent either. Limit their markup or reduce patent protection or find a way to get the costs in line with the rest of the world.  Allow for drug imports to foster competition.
  7. Stop Taxing Healthcare and Health Insurance
  8. Medical Licensing- Problems and costs associated with licensing medical professionals increase costs and causes a shortage of medical professionals by raising the bar too high in places it isn’t necessary.
  9. Malpractice Insurance reform/Tort Reform Costs have rocketed over the last 30 years due to lawsuits.  Find better ways to mitigate risk etc.  Giving patients unneeded tests just raises costs but Doctors feel they need to protect themselves.
  10. Medical Records- Make it easier to store and share medical information so that redundant paperwork isn’t needed every time you change doctors.  Our medical records is so fractured and spread out that it takes lots of people just to keep track of a patient at one practice.
  11. Preventative Care- American’s want a quick fix.  We don’t want to eat healthy and exercise we want a pill to cure us.  This adds costs.  We should practice preventative medicine from birth.
  12. End of Life Care- Every medical study ever done has concluded that 100% of us will die. We spend the majority of our health insurance dollars postponing dying often times with no meaningful impact.

 In 2009, Medicare paid $55 billion just for doctor and hospital bills during the last two months of patients’ lives. That’s more than the budget for the Department of Homeland Security, or the Department of Education. And it has been estimated that 20 to 30 percent of these medical expenses may have had no meaningful impact. Most of the bills are paid for by the federal government with few or no questions asked.

CBS News

It costs $12000 a day for ICU care.  Most American’s want to die at home but 75% of them die in the hospital or nursing home.   Why? Because Doctors get paid to see patients and hospitals get paid to have people in beds. Dying at home is easier, cheaper and usually better.  Ask any one who does hospice.