“The best system would be a well regulated “Everybody Hold Your Own Money and Pay Your Own Way System.” It would empower patients to deal directly with their caregivers without third-party interference or regulation and lead them to become sensitive to the potential benefit and the cost of their care…
…”To insure that account money was spent on effective care, and not wasted or stolen by fraud, standards of medical practice should be established with a Wikipedia-style online system to allow each licensed practitioner and researcher to propose, amend and vote on standards of practice in his or her’s field. A true consensus statement would then be available on every relevant standard of practice, which would be more up to date and represent truly effective practice, better than the opinions of a panel of “experts.”
There’s a lot of sense in this post. It passes the KISS test…and a lot more. I especially like the Wikipedia idea. Clinical guidelines could be updated almost in real time. I just got an article accepted to the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery. They now post the articles online within 6 weeks of peer review. How about that for “bench to bedside.” Wiki type sites would pop up all over the place for pricing as well. If you put the consumer and his/her dollars directly in touch with the physician, in this information driven world, opacity would be a thing of the past.
Go one step further now and ask yourself why this is not THE plan in front of Congress. Is it because it doesn’t put money, power or influence in the hands of the big players – government, insurance, pharm? A plan like this diffuses power and restores it to patients and health providers…a threat to the business models of all of the above. Only bloated, tired regimes that are out of touch with real comsumers’ need fear open information and choice.