- Posted December 17, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Obamacare: Your story
Healthcare: Intresting new soultion
The main problem today with healthcare in the USA in my opinion is unfair cost distribution and the lack of transparency to compare cost between doctors. Why should an uninsured pay $121 or the standard rate for something my medical plan had negated for the price of $20.00 (this was an actual bill I received showing the discount in 2008 for my blood test). Is it fair that uninsured and unemployed be charged 500% more for the same service? Price gouging is illegal after natural disasters but it is legal for doctors after an individual medical disaster.
I think ONE PRICE legislation should be passed that allows all medical facilities to set their price (free market at work) but only allows one rate to all patients whether Blue Cross, Medicare, or uninsured individual with no discounts allowed for big business that fund/bribe our politicians. Here is my recommended medical reform plan. My plan is a four step plan.
One Rate Plan Proposal
Step One: Make all contracts public between insurance companies and doctors, labs, and pharmacies and require insurance companies to upload to their public website, in Excel that can be downloadable by any interested parties. The file would include: price, procedure number, procedure description, name of doctor, company, address, city, state, zip code, cost, and county. This database already exists for billing purposes and can be created by insurance companies in under a week.
The government should also require medical organizations in Step One to provide for uninsured and cash paying customers the lowest current negotiated rate. This first phase would only need 30-90 days to implement.
Step Two: Void all medical contracts and replace it with the one rate per procedure set by the medical companies. This rate would apply for all customers with no discounts allowed. This rate will be set by the company as they see fit and can change their rates once a year with a 90 days’ notice. The one exception would be for families whose income is below 200% of the poverty line. For these clients the medical organization could offer volunteer work at their or at another approved health or government facility. The pay rate ranging from $15-$95 per hour would be used and applied towards their bill. This income would not be taxed or counted as income, but instead would be considered a reduction/discount of medical bill and would not require medical benefits or other employee benefits required for employees under Obama Care (Affordable Care Act) or other legislation.
All funds must be paid when services are rendered by credit card, cash or electronic fund transfer by patient or insurance company. All insurance companies must have simple internet pre-approval for out-of-network coverage and require payment to all services to be electronically deposited the next business day. The medical facilities will charge an interest rate of 1% per week would be added to any late payments.
Step Three: Each medical business shall be required to be submit, for each procedure, the rates in a searchable government database online and the database would calculate the average price per procedure by county. Any procedure not listed by the doctor, pharmacy, or lab would have to be set at the time of the procedure and would require to be 90% or less of the average cost for that county. The database would be contracted to Google, Yahoo, or MSN by open bid process that should not cost the government anything in exchange for advertising right as users search the website.
All medical facilities would be required to disclose their cost compared to the average cost for that county, before conducting any procedure. The itemized bill must list the average cost for their county and this doctor’s rate for each item on the bill. The total amount must reflect a percentage above or below the average cost.
All medical facilities must also list on the door what their average cost is based on last year’s rate compared with average cost. The front door would list “this doctor on average charges 5% above of what other doctor in this county charge for the same procedures” to help patients compare prices between doctors.
The first year would be solely based on average price listed by all doctors in the county. For the second year and onwards, it would calculate the rate by taking the price rate at the end of each quarter and multiplying by the number of procedures done during that quarter. The medical facility would then submit, by internet, this information so it could calculate a new average price each quarter which would update the numbers placed on the doctor’s front door.
Step Four: This is an optional step of my plan to require all companies over 50 employees to pay a minimum of $40 per week per employee towards medical insurance whether full-time or part-time. The employee can elect the company’s medical plan or opt for a medical Visa/Master card where the money will be deposited weekly which can be used for private medical insurance payments or for actual medical bills, depending on the employee’s choice.
For companies with over 10,000 employees, the government should add an additional tax/requirement that for every employee full-time or part-time that doesn’t elect the company medical, the company would have to pay an additional $40.00 per week into the state medical assistance program to help fund a reduced/free insurance for the poor children under 18 and disabled and underemployed adults.