Sunday, October 18, 2009

Free Market Referrals

As the threat of a government takeover of health care becomes closer to reality, more Americans are interested in finding ways to preserve their health care outside of any government system.

I expect that more doctors will start offering their services outside of any sort of state-regulated insurance system. And brokers and clearinghouses will naturally emerge to help match patients and doctors in a relatively free market.

One example of this is this website by Erickson Financial Services for "Affordable Surgery in the USA":
If you are in need of surgery, let Erickson Financial Services help you arrange for affordable surgery right here in the United States of America. Erickson Financial Services offers access to high quality, affordable surgery at a fraction of the cost of traditional U.S. hospitals. How do we do it? Quite simply, Erickson Financial Services acts as a liason between our clients and reputable, licensed practitioners who offer direct-pay services at reasonable, non-negotiable rates. There is no charge for our services.

If you are a citizen of the United States of America, there is no need for you to look towards medical tourism as a solution for your unresolved healthcare needs. The USA offers some of the highest quality healthcare services in the world. Why leave the country when you can receive services right here in the USA at prices comparable to those in countries such as Thailand?
Disclaimer: I have no financial relationship with Erickson Financial Services or any other referral service, and this does not constitute any sort of endorsement. Similarly, I'm not endorsing this particular surgery center or any of the physicians who practice there. I'm merely offering EFS as an example of the sorts of businesses that will likely arise in response to ObamaCare.

Likewise, EFS notes:
Erickson Financial Services offers no guarantees with regards to surgical outcomes. Once we have put the client into contact with a doctor or facility, we are no longer involved with any interaction between doctor and patient. It is up to the client to do his/her own due diligence to determine whether he/she wishes to receive services from the physicans that we refer.
As long as private health care remains legal in the United States, many smart patients will continue to seek the best for themselves and their loved ones outside of any government-run medical system. Hence, such free market alternatives will likely thrive.

I discuss related advice from concierge physician Dr. Steve Knope at: "How To Protect Yourself Against ObamaCare".