Category: High Deductible Health Plans

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Consumers are Linking Budget Airline Itineraries: Will They “Virtual Interline” Medical Services Too?

A few weeks ago, WOW Air, an Icelandic budget airline, announced that they would be flying Boston-Reykjavik at an introductory fare of $99.  Despite the growth of budget airlines in both Europe and the US, WOW is apparently the first airline to try to make a margin on trans-Atlantic routes. WOW argues that smaller planes (made possible ...

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The Growth of Doctor Networks: Will “Healthcare Islands” Appeal to Value-Seeking Millennials?

Around the country, doctors are leaving independent practice and joining large groups owned by healthcare systems. It’s a trend: the recruiting firm Merritt Hawkins predicts that if current growth continues, over 75 percent of newly hired physicians will be hospital employees within two years. There seem to be a number of reasons for this consolidation of ...

HMOs Are Back on the Table. And “Cheap” Isn’t Good Enough This Time Around.

If you’re a fan of 1990’s movies, you will likely remember a scene in the Academy Award winning film, As Good as It Gets. The Washington Post described the ruckus in theatres: Audiences in the Washington area have been erupting in whoops, whistles and applause when actress Helen Hunt, playing the single mother of a ...

Budget Boutique Hospitals? Will The Search for Value Lead to Market-Segmentation in American Healthcare?

Years ago, a professor in a healthcare economics course introduced a healthcare adage: never forget, he said, that the way we pay for healthcare—through insurance premiums– distorts the consumer’s perception of value per dollar in healthcare. He meant that the insured pay into the system over time and are indemnified from sticker shock when it ...

Squeeze the Consumer or Squeeze the Prescriber? Conflicting Ideologies and the Rise of High Deductible Health Plans

If you were designing a program to lower healthcare costs, would you direct your efforts at the medical consumer, or the medical prescriber?  Do you create a system where an informed and empowered consumer drives the market, or one which regulates providers and holds them accountable for the services they deliver? The answer, I think, would depend on ...