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A Letter to Healthcare Providers from a Consumer

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, January 8, 2014

And rest assured that any number of websites and consumer action groups will blossom for people like me who don't really understand how all of this healthcare reform works and what we have to pay for and what the charges cover. We newly informed and suspicious healthcare consumers will be vigilant against perceived rip offs. We will read the stories about price shifting and gouging in healthcare – whether real, fabricated, or exaggerated – and we'll be determined that it won't happen to us.

So, I hope we are clear on what you can expect from our new relationship in the coming years. Most encounters won't devolve into nickel-and-dime haggling over who pays how much for what and why, but a growing number will. If you thought it was rough haggling with insurance companies, wait 'til you get a load of me.


John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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10 comments on "A Letter to Healthcare Providers from a Consumer"


Jane Orient (1/20/2014 at 1:01 PM)
YOu are welcome as a patient if you value my services. I expect honesty and transparency from patients also.

Stephen E. Galya (1/17/2014 at 8:17 PM)
I was quite disappointed by Mr. Commins statement about physician assistants, and not physician's assistant as he put it. This gentleman obviously has no idea of the training PA's go though, or what they are capable of doing. I have been a PA for 21 years, and currently work in family practice, and manage patients with hypertension, diabetes, lipid disorders, and other chronic conditions. We as PA's work hard, and research has shown that patients are at times more satisfied with our care than MD's. A truly hurtful and disappointing statement. This man should have done some research.

G Constantinopolos, MD, MBA (1/14/2014 at 10:12 PM)
Transparency and communication is a must indeed. However we must all speak the same language. Too many people in this country consider healthcare a social "good" which they are entitled to as it is the right to walk in a house workship and pray. But the providers see it as a market " good" for which a financial transaction is due. Physicians are not a commodity as the insurance plans seem to believe. The time is coming when you will have to pay a good premium to select a physician who is an expert in his field. As a consumer you know you get what you pay for. But I would also agree that the unchallenged super inflated hospital charges should come to an end. It is now clear that hospitals are big profitable businesses with little if any concern to their captive customer base. They can not operate within the non profit arena trying to compete with the private practitioners who have supportersd them through the good and bad times Hospitals and their highly paid administrators offer no care, they just facilitate, it is the physicians who do that !