Wall Street Journal on technology and patient-controlled health care
One of the biggest problems with our nation’s health care system is out of control costs for health services. Much of that has to do with the perverse incentives created by a third-party payer system whereby government and insurance bureaucracies determine how we spend our health dollars, and how much we spend.
If patients were able to act like paying customers, rather than a benign participant in the provider-insurance system, patients would have the ability to shop around for many health services. Providers would respond in kind, competing for patients’ patronage and in the end we would see prices based on patient (market) demands, rather than arbitrary and usually inflated prices concocted by the third-party payer system often with government interference.
There are many forces at work right now that could pave the way for this market-driven health system, including an innovative approach described in this Wall Street Journal article titled “The Future of Medicine is in your Smartphone – New tools are tilting health-care control from doctors to patients“:
“Over the past decade, smartphones have radically changed many aspects of our everyday lives, from banking to shopping to entertainment. Medicine is next. With innovative digital technologies, cloud computing and machine learning, the medicalized smartphone is going to upend every aspect of health care. And the end result will be that you, the patient, are about to take center stage for the first time.”
Read more here.