Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Michigan Can Assist In Real Health Care Reform

From the Detroit News: "Michigan can assist in the creative destruction of Obamacare".

An excerpt from the article:
Just like the smartphone pretty much eliminated the market for cell phones and calculators, enterprising doctors and other medical providers are starting to eliminate the demand for insurance companies and government bureaucrats to spend our health dollars for us. In Michigan, Lansing is poised to help this “destructive” process.

State Sen. Patrick Colbeck has introduced legislation to clear the way for direct primary care. For a fee, doctors deal directly with patients and bypass costly insurance or government regimes. Considering the traditional health insurance system adds about 40 percent to typical medical bills, charges to treat many common diagnoses are steeply discounted. For instance, treating an ingrown toenail costs $50 under a direct primary care doctor in Kansas. Under the traditional system, he’d have to charge $200.

This health care model is nothing new but is seeing a resurgence thanks, ironically, to a clause in the Affordable Care Act itself which Colbeck calls a “free market loophole” that he wants to drive a Mack Truck through.

The direct primary care model already has a reported half million people on board and is rapidly picking up steam with doctors, patients and even investors. It is really an offshoot of the higher priced “concierge care,” which is also gaining popularity.
From Colbeck's website:
[L]legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton) to assert that Direct Primary Care Services should not treated as an insurance product was reported  out of the Senate Insurance Committee.  The purpose of the bill (SB 1033) is to assure physicians who convert their practice to a Direct Primary Care Service model that the administrative burden associated with insurance regulations will not interfere with their treatment of patients. 
Colbeck's position is absolutely right -- a "direct pay" practice should not be subjected to onerous insurance regulations.  

This approach will allow consumers and physicians to more easily contract to their mutual benefit -- saving money and lives in the process.

(Link via Dr. Megan Edison.  And if you haven't done so already, please feel free to check out her group blog on health care policy, RebelMD!)