First off… I totally object to using the term HEALTHCARE. Come on, seriously, healthcare??? That is such a crock. Sick-care at most, or symptom care. The idea of true healthcare should be this:
“Doc, I am here today because I truly want to become a healthier individual.”
“Great. This is what we specialize in. We take people who are increasing risks of disease due to a culture that has become less and less conscious of the dangers associated with lifestyle choices… and turn their decisions upside down so that they can become the best possible versions of themselves.”
“Great, I am currently taking five medications a day, and would hope to decrease that.”
“Absolutely. We hate the idea of our patients being “stuck” on medications, and we work hard to get them all off of meds.”
Ha, ha, ha… even though there are doctors out there with those noble ambitions, there is almost no pathway for them to build a practice like that, unless they are a visionary… a leader beyond their time. For us chiropractors, we have nothing to gain nor lose by sitting in opposition to the drug drug drug mentality of our country. We are tossed aside as a fringe occupation, so it becomes easier to stand in opposition, because we are somewhat obsolete already.
So then. What is it to be out of control, as a sickcare nation? What it really means, is that our expense, in pursuit of something that we really don’t even know the value of, is out of control. I had dinner tonight at Century House Tavern, with a guy who is intimately involved with insurance and the healthcare marketplace. As we spoke, we quickly went to the lack of transparency in the healthcare model. The issue at heart is transparency.
I thought about it, and I thought about how we operate with great transparency. Our price is consistent, and anybody who has a financial hardship is able to demonstrate that and we accommodate. We then went to the MRI model. Some of you know that I have been working on launching a new business for late 2019, early 2020, which is a cash MRI business. Why? Because the MRI model makes me mad. I would order MRI’s on everybody practically… forgoing x-ray for MRI if we could find an affordable model. Sure enough, this person told me about some Atlanta area research that resulted in reviewing the cost of MRI in approximately 190+ facilities for shoulder MRI’s. The low cost was $490, the high cost was $5,500 and the mean was $850. So consider the high value. Even if only a few people were up at that price, when you compare it to the fact that there were MRI’s available for $490. More than ten times the price, being absorbed by your premium dollars.
This is a mess out of control. Out of control.
Transparency alleviates this problem. If you had a website where you could go online, and see the bottom line, after billing, after treatment, total cost of a service. You could then make a decision based on the most important value as it relates to something like an MRI… cost. No other concern, just cost.
Think about how significant that difference is, and how that creates a mess in our healthcare environment. Go a step further… how much does it cost to buy prescription meds these days? Have you ever looked at the OTC version of a prescription drug? Right now, you can buy an OTC version of some drugs, for 1/2 the cost, or a 1/4 of the cost. Only difference? You asked the pharmacist to help you find a cheaper alternative.
Now, please, don’t forget I want you off of all meds. But should you need one for a short window of time, you might as well drive to Canada and buy it for a tenth the cost.
America is a mess.
And my solution for you is simple to be an advocate. Ask questions, look around, search for research, ask more questions, don’t get suckered in, listen to our advice, pursuit health before symptom relief, and stay committed. It is all hard work, but it is all worth it.
So… be well, and be blessed! – Dr. E