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2014 Healthcare Industry Forecast: Sweeping Change
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Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
12/12/2013 | 6:42:42 PM
Level Playing Field
The exchanges will mean that freelancers like me will be able to buy insurance for the same price that an employer with multiple employees can. Yes, freelancers will still forgo that "defined contribution," but we won't have to pay more than twice as much as does a medium sized organization per head. And, think of how much time a business owner with a dozen employees currently has to waste on this. Now, all that wasted effort can be concentrated on providing better products and services.

 
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
12/11/2013 | 9:34:07 PM
Re: Lack of pricing transparency
The comparison I've heard to the airline industry is that healthcare providers need to get patients to do a lot of the work they now do -- copying how we airline passengers now look up and book our own flights online without a person involved, and check in ourselves. Some things (like carrying our own bags) are a hassle, but others like online booking are a feature. Most of us would welcome the chance to go online and book our own doctor appointment time, rather than calling.   
WKash
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WKash,
User Rank: Author
12/11/2013 | 5:43:01 PM
Lack of pricing transparency
The point about pricing transparency in the PwC report is debatable.  As you note: "The trend toward consumer-driven healthcare has been building for years... However, one flaw in this approach is consumers tend to have too little knowledge of the real cost of care -- particularly hospital care -- to make good decisions. PwC sees this as one of the things that is starting to change."

But one wonders how soon.  Even as data becomes more available to compare the price of treatments by various providers and hospitals, history has shown that when transparency exposes the price of goods and services, providers find other ways to extract additional fees and payments. 

Just look at what happened in the airline industry as data harvesting services made it easy to compare the price of airline tickets.  Guess how much airlines netted last year on things like baggage fees; head-of-the-line boarding rights; and other ancillary revenue programs? $27.1 billion according to a Review of Ancillary Revenue Results for 2012. 

Consumers need better information, no question.  But one imagines consumers will still be face a mountain of confusion as more of that information becomes available.

 

 
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
12/11/2013 | 4:48:52 PM
Faster change, really?
Do the changes happening now really feel like they're happening at a faster rate? Every 2014 tech tech and market forecast proclaims big changes, often exaggerated, but is healthcare different?

Big changes or incremental ones coming next year?


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