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What Does Singapore Know About Selling Healthcare Products?

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media, July 3, 2013

The cost of medical care is also completely transparent in Singapore, so consumers know what they are paying for upfront. U.S. advocates for medical price transparency have scored some victories, but U.S. health consumers are far off from Singapore's system of going online and comparison shopping.

"Singapore is a highly regulated place, but what is most compelling to me is that they have an out-of-pocket system, an insurance system, [and] there is a safety net," Gordon says. "There are features that you would recognize and at the same time one of the tenets of their healthcare system is 'personal accountability,' and I think that's what we're doing, almost inadvertently. What I imagine they've done is establish systems and supports for individuals to make good decisions for themselves and their families. That's what I want to learn from."

In Australia, Gordon is going to study how that country is approaching the health disparities that exist in its Aboriginal population. Life expectancy, disease rates, and preventable hospital admissions all lag behind the rest of the country's population significantly. Network Health is an approved Medicaid provider for its state, and Gordon says there could be opportunities to learn some best practices.

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