We had to put the title of this post in quotes because Pamela Scherer McLeod published an article with the same title. She was reporting on a comprehensive and media-stirring exposé that was published by Time on March 4 under the title “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us” (you’ll need a subscription to read the full article). It was written by Steven Brill, a prominent journalist and entrepreneur who founded Court TV.
According to Mcleod, “Dark Daily suggests that this is useful reading for pathologists and clinical laboratory managers who want to stay abreast of the trend to provide patients with greater transparency in hospital prices and outcomes.” But we’d like to also encourage current and inquiring concierge doctors to track down that Time Magazine article.
McLeod goes on to say, “Public scrutiny of exorbitant hospital ‘chargemaster’ prices for health services and medical laboratory tests is growing.” This is in no small part due to Brills decision to cover the topic. And as s a high-profile writer, it couldn’t have been better timed. Obamacare is in its infancy. The public’s about to get a wake-up call (which in our humble opinion won’t be fun). With an article like this, we anticipate that patients WILL seek to get out of what’s turning out to be more than a trap, but an outright sham. We strongly believe that concierge medicine should ready itself for this type fed up patient.
And how did Brill make such a stir? He spent several months breaking down and analyzing actual medical bills. He went line-by-line through thousands of documents. His work was so focused that Time dedicated the entire magazine to his story. It was 36 pages long. His findings were that those on the supply line were reaping egregious profits. The profits implemented by chargemasters in the offices, for drugs and procedures, were absurd. Then when he followed the supply chain to manufacturers his findings were eclipsed by even more outrageous markups.
From Brill talking to Reuters: “By following the money, I discovered that our healthcare prices are out of whack for a reason that was hiding in plain sight.” He was referring to the price list used by hospitals known as the “chargemaster.”
The movement toward transparency in healthcare, including how prices are determined, is a separate trend in the reform of healthcare in the United States. It is powerful and expected to be transformational in changing how consumers select hospitals, physicians, and other providers. This will be good for concierge medical doctors. We are advocating a free-market approach to providing care, and how else can we succeed at business, if people can’t price shop and get the best value for their buck? And how would a doctor trying to scam the system with insane markups stay in business, if patients knew how much their services actually cost? We believe this article couldn’t have come at a better time for our grassroots solution to the American healthcare fiasco.
Oh, and speaking of getting the best value for your buck, check out our prices at AtlasMD here in Wichita. We’re not messing around. You really can’t beat them.
For more about Brill’s story, read the full article by Pamela Scherer McLeod:
“Well-known Journalist Blasts Hospitals, Drug Makers, and Device Manufacturers for Lack of Transparent Prices and High Cost of Medical Care” | Dark Daily