Friday, August 12, 2011

Fogoros: An Epiphany On Direct-Pay Practices

Dr. Rich Fogoros discusses, "An Epiphany On Direct-Pay Practices".

In this post he makes several excellent points, including the fact that direct-pay health care preserves the doctor-patient relationship, thus allowing genuine ethical health care.

In contrast, supposedly noble government health systems have the opposite effect of causing an "unethical, demeaning, public-health-destroying style of practice".

The first system rewards the better doctors (thus benefitting patients). The second system drives the better doctors out of the profession.

Another good point:
It is important to note that any innovation that can potentially spare patients from some of the harm the healthcare system has in store for them will necessarily be applicable to only some patients at first. That's how disruptive processes work. They begin as niche products or services, attractive only to a few high-end users; too expensive or too marginal for the vast majority; ignored, ridiculed or castigated by current providers. But if at their core they're offering something fundamentally useful, they will slowly demonstrate their worth – and eventually all the potential users will see the light, and demand for the product will become explosive. When that happens, the means are found to make the new product affordable and available to meet the demand – often by making significant adjustments to the original concept, that nonetheless preserve the core benefits. And when that happens, the traditional providers (who never saw it coming) are suddenly out of business.

It may not be that direct-pay medicine plays the personal computer to the traditional healthcare system’s mainframe. But it is inarguable that what it offers to patients – at its core – is every bit as vital and every bit as indispensable. And if a critical mass of the public can be made to understand what is really being offered here, there will be no holding it back.
This is a typical pattern we take for granted in other sectors of the economy such as consumer goods. It's time to unleash similar free-market dynamics in American health care.

(Read the full text of "An Epiphany On Direct-Pay Practices".)