Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Hypochonriac's Dream

I'm going to start this out by saying that I don't go to the doctor unless I'm dying. Or at least I think I am. I broke my arm a few years ago and it took me 3 days to go to the ER because I was sure it was just a sprain and it would heal on it's own. When it swelled up like a rubber glove balloon, I finally went to the doctor. I drove myself. This becomes relevant with the information below.

Do we really want healthcare to be cheap? Changing from the old indemnity plans (deductible then 80% paid) to the HMO actually drove the cost of healthcare up! This was because the cost was so low for the consumer that they went to the doctor for everything. Costs went up because demand went up, but availability stayed the same. Do we really want everybody to be able to afford to go for every little thing? Isn't that just a hypochondriac's dream? And we the people would be footing the bill for somebody else's neuroses.

I'm not saying that the access should be expensive, but it should stop and make you think about whether you really need to go to the doctor, or if it's something you can handle yourself. Taking the patient's responsibility for the cost out of the equation will only increase demand, without increasing the supply, and then our healthcare system turns into one giant Black Friday.

If people will beat each other up over the last hot toy on sale, what will they do in order to be able to see the last available doctor?

If you have a product that you want people to use, that you want them to buy, you put it on sale or just decrease the cost. This makes it more attractive and you'll sell more. The problem with doing this with the healthcare system is that we don't have any more healthcare to offer. We're already down to a back order situation. So is it really smart to put what's already on back order on sale?

My big question is whether the people like me will even be able to get in to the see the doctor, or whether the available resources will be taken up by the hypochondriacs giddy with the fire sale of their favorite product.

What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Very important questions for our future.