A Letter to Healthcare Providers from a Consumer
Now that the rules of healthcare delivery have changed so dramatically, we need to be clear about our new relationship. If you thought haggling with insurance companies was rough, just wait until you hear my expectations.
Greetings Providers! By way of introduction, we've met before. I am one of the hundreds of millions of people out there who were once referred to as your patients. Going forward, however, it'd be more accurate if you thought of me as a healthcare consumer. This is a business, after all, and you're selling me a product. So we need to be clear about our new relationship.
Let me assure you, now that the rules of healthcare delivery have changed so dramatically, the idea of the healthcare consumer is not a mere buzzword. This is now a matter of my "skin in the game" and my cold hard cash.
For years healthcare policy wonks have said that the best way to reduce cost growth in healthcare is to educate patients and make them smarter consumers. And the fastest way to educate anybody on anything is to make them pay for it.
And that's where I am now.
For as long as I can remember I was in a traditional health insurance plan where I paid a certain amount in premiums, a certain amount in co-pays, and a certain amount in deductibles. It was a pleasant enough relationship, however insupportable. I didn't understand how it worked because I didn't have to.