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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Price Transparency in Healthcare

We desperately need price transparency in healthcare.

You should know the price of a pill before you swallow it.*
You should know the price of a test before you have it.
You should know the price of a procedure or operation before it is done to you.

The only way you can spend your money wisely, your insurance company's money wisely, or Medicaid or Medicare's money wisely, is if you know what things cost.

Knowing prices empowers patients to get more healthcare for their money. Below is a list of entities that have to do with price transparency in healthcare, or that are displaying prices.

Clear Health Costs

Compared Care


Fair Health

Free Market Medicine Association

Health in Reach

Healthcare Bluebook


Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI)

My Health My Price



Pricing Healthcare

Self Pay Patient LLC

Snap Health

Surgery Center of Oklahoma


Understanding Healthcare Prices: A Consumer Guide

Castlight Health

CPR Price Transparency

Costs of Care

*(The phrase "...the price of a pill before you swallow it..." first came from Dr. Steven Kagan as far as I am able to determine.)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Stage 4 Renal Cell Carcinoma

Stage IV renal cell carcinoma is a very bad disease. It often affects relatively young people. It's a highly aggressive cancer. This cancer can break your bones and invade your brain. It may invade your liver. It may escape into your long, not just in one spot, but in 5, 10, 20 or more spots. You may feel malaise and experience cachexia - weakness and wasting away of the body.

What would you do?

What would you do for treatment?

Where would you find your statistics?

How would you make your decisions?

The Current Buzzwords in Health and Medicine

There are many recent and important buzzwords in health and medicine. Some of the many terms being bandied about are:

  1. patient engagement 
  2. shared decision-making 
  3. personalized medicine 
  4. patient empowerment 
  5. evidence-based medicine 
  6. science-based medicine 
  7. treatment transparency
  8. quality-based care

The top 15 health websites get 377 unique visitors per month, according to my calculations using Alexa, yet no one website totally dominates, because no one website has the technology to be far and away the best source of information to fulfill the concepts of these buzzwords. We have yet to fulfill the needs of patients, doctors, nurses, and all allied healthcare professionals - not to mention the needs of all the businesses and governments around the world.

Patients Suffer and Die

Everyone dies. People suffer and die. I hate this - always have. It's especially devastating when someone suffers or dies needlessly. Sometimes suffering and death happen because of inadequate information. This is where health information technology (HealthIT) can improve things.

People are often heroic at the end of their lives when faced with death. The gravitas and dignity can be amazing. It cannot help but touch your heart. Those people constantly flash before my eyes as I think about ways to help save or improve lives.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Medical Savings Accounts

What’s wrong with Medical Savings Accounts? The short answer is nothing. The long answer is they keep getting wrecked by government regulations.

I have tried to help get Medical Savings Accounts for everyone ever since I read the excellent book Patient Power co-authored by economist John C. Goodman.

You should be able to go to any bank, start a Medical Savings Account (MSA), and take charge of your healthcare. You should be able to go to any doctor you want, any hospital you want, and undergo any treatment that is beneficial. Your MSA should be tax free. Your employer and anyone else, a relative for example, should be able to donate to it tax free. When you die you should be able to leave it to your children or other family - also tax free.

You should never be limited to a network of physicians. Your life is at stake, your health is at stake, and the choices and options should always be yours. Any limit is rationing because it takes away your choices.

There are only two kinds of healthcare: 1. Patient Power healthcare or 2. Third-party controlled healthcare. If you believe in freedom, you do not want any of the types of healthcare where third parties have the power over your life and your health.

When you go into a clinic or hospital the first question they ask should be, “How can I help you?”

Today, when you enter a Healthcare facility the first question I usually see asked is: “What is your insurance?” Immediately, you know that the entity with the money is more important than you are. There is an immediate transfer of power, and transfer of concern from you, the patient, to some uncaring third party that holds the purse strings. Obamacare is the biggest transfer of power from patients to uncaring third parties in history.

Getting MSAs going has been frustrating. I once wrote a few emails to some physician colleagues about how frustrating Medical Savings Accounts are, because they are so complicated and time consuming. I thought there must be a better way. It was a bad move when I look back on it. Even with the ridiculous and unnecessary regulations in existence today, Medical Savings Accounts are far better than anything else we have now.

You should be able to go to any bank and start a Medical Savings Account and be done with it. It should be simple, easy, and convenient. You should not have to read a ridiculous number of pages of instructions and regulations to do it

The Internet, new statistical methods, and new technology mean that we can finally create a true free market in healthcare with powerful consumers. We can have a free market with complete price transparency and product transparency. This would revolutionize medicine. This would drive innovation. This would benefit the most people.

Remember this: There has never been a more effective way to drive prices down in the history of the world than the free market. Free markets are run by free people, using free speech, while working with price transparency and product transparency.

We need a marketing campaign to get Patient Power healthcare. What is the best slogan?

There is something catchy about “Dr. Ben Carson Care.” Would he lend his name to such a movement? He is already on record for Medical Savings Accounts being started at birth. He has also said that he believes in logic, not politics.

For the money we have wasted, we could have already given Medical Savings Accounts and health insurance to many of the uninsured. We could have spent all that wasted money on patients instead of bureaucracy.

Medical Savings Accounts need to be instituted properly. They must be simple, easy, and voluntary. They must be available to anyone who wants one but must not be forced upon anyone who already has healthcare they like. MSAs should be easy to combine with catastrophic healthcare insurance. We must have price transparency and product transparency to go with MSAs.

The more you pay doctors and hospitals directly, without uncaring third parties in the middle, the more power you have to get the care you want. You become a customer that providers care about, instead of being a meaningless number.

Singapore almost did it right. They instituted Medical Savings Accounts, but at the last minute added a government regulation that took away Patient Power. I was there at the Ministry of Health in Singapore. We know what they did wrong back then, and now we can do Medical Savings Accounts even better here in the USA. In fact, my visit to Singapore was a long time ago. They may have perfected their Medical Savings Accounts by now. Many good people there were trying very hard to do healthcare right. Singapore by the way is a country of just over 5 million people and is relatively better off by economic numbers than its surrounding neighbors. In addition to Singapore, many other countries have come to realize the consumer empowering value of Medical Savings Accounts.

So, I ask again what’s better than an MSA?

Probably an MSA combined with catastrophic healthcare insurance run by a company using the latest technology to reduce your paperwork and confusion down to almost zero. You need one simple plastic card, or cell phone app, that organizes everything for you and keeps your balances and bills clear and understandable. Private companies can innovate and do this for us.

Repeal Obamacare and give us Medical Savings Accounts instead. Let us be in control of our healthcare. Let us go to any doctor, hospital, clinic, or undergo any treatment we want. It’s our lives at stake. Let us have Patient Power.

We need "Patient Power healthcare" not third party bureaucracies and “death panels.”

One day, you should be able to go to any doctor, clinic, or hospital, and their first question should be “How can we help you?”

Health Savings Accounts by Dr. Ben Carson

Remove the Caps on Health Savings Accounts featuring Dr. Ellen McKnight
Dr. Ellen McKnight
The Free Market Medical Association

Snap Health

The Self-Pay Patient

Pricing Healthcare

Association of American Physicians and Surgeons


Benjamin Rush Institute and Benjamin Rush Society
"The Benjamin Rush Society embraces thoughtful, well-reasoned discourse regarding health care solutions that support the principle of liberty."

Free Market Health Group
"The Free Market Health Group Aims to Create a Transparent System of Medicine and Utilizes Free Market Principles."

Surgery Center of Oklahoma
"Free market-loving, price-displaying, state-of-the-art, AAAHC accredited, doctor owned, multispecialty surgical facility in central OK."

Independent Physicians for Patient Independence (ip4pi)
"Independent physicians for patient independence deny insurance and government limitations on patient care."

Copyright © Bradley R. Hennenfent, M.D.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Physician Groups You Should be Following on Twitter

You should be the most powerful person in the healthcare system. You should be able to choose any doctor, hospital, or treatment that works for you according to your preferences. These are some physician groups you should be following on Twitter:

"Independent physicians for patient independence deny insurance and government limitations on patient care."

"A Voice for Private Physicians Since 1943. Omnia pro aegroto - All for the patient. #STOP ObamaCare."

"Practicing doctors fighting hard for our profession, the doctor-patient relationship, #fullrepeal ,market-based reforms. Join us."

"Real Americans aligned with real doctors committed to the repeal of #ObamaCare and protecting the doctor-patient relationship through free market medicine."

"The Benjamin Rush Society embraces thoughtful, well-reasoned discourse regarding health care solutions that support the principle of liberty."

"The Free Market Medical Association is dedicated to bringing together physicians, self-funded businesses, third party administrators, and health care providers."

"The Free Market Health Group Aims to Create a Transparent System of Medicine and Utilizes Free Market Principles."

"Free market-loving, price-displaying, state-of-the-art, AAAHC accredited, doctor owned, multispecialty surgical facility in central OK."

"Real Americans aligned with real doctors committed to the repeal of #ObamaCare and protecting the doctor-patient relationship through free market medicine."

"Colorado chapter of Docs4PC, an organization dedicated to the establishment of a health care system that preserves the doctor-patient relationship."

"Michigan Chapter of Docs4PatientCare organization dedicated to the establishment of a health care system that preserves the doctor-patient relationship."

Disclaimer: I do not recommend any one physician or treatment. Always see your own physician. This information has only been vetted as much as is possible at this time. Do your own research.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Doctors you should be following on Twitter

Doctors you should be following on Twitter:

Free Markets in Healthcare Aren’t “Broken”-Just Not Allowed to Work
Twitter profile: Dr. Vliet is Founder of HER Place and author of six women's health books, national speaker on healthcare, & President of International Health Strategies, Ltd. Tucson, Arizona ·

Dr. Scott Barbour is an orthopedic surgeon. According to his Twitter profile he is “a Strict Constitutionalist.”

Dr. Kris Held is an opthamologist. She is co-founder and secretary-treasurer of the Texas Chapter of Docs4PatientCare. She is a physician consultant for the Physicians Council for Responsible Reform in Washington, D.C. She has been recognized in Best Doctors in America, America's Top Ophthalmologists, Texas Super Doctors, and San Antonio's Top Doctors.

Dr. Marty Fox is a plastic surgeon and according to his Twitter profile is “IN THE FREE MARKET.”

Dr. Alieta Eck, M.D., can help people understand what doctors think is the best way to reform healthcare. She is an internal medicine physician. She has written in the past that: "The Affordable Care Act, better known as 'Obamacare' is a massive federal intrusion into our health care system, which will limit consumer choice and erode the high quality of care that Americans are accustomed to receiving." Dr. Eck is a Past President of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). 

Dr. Hal Scherz is a pediatric urologist. He is a teaching physician at Atlanta’s Children’s Hospital and Emory University. He is also the Founder and President of Docs4PatientCare.

Dr. Tod Rubin is an anesthesiologist. His Twitter profile says, “…advocate for physician-led, patient-centered, free-market medical insurance reform. Put control and dollars in hands of patients!!”

Dr. Richard Armstrong is a general surgeon. He is the Chief Operating Officer for Docs4PatientCare.

Dr. Milton Wolf is a free market champion. He is also “Barack Obama’s unapologetic conservative cousin” and a Washington Times columnist. 

Dr. Jane Orient is a general internal medicine physician and is the current executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).

According to one website, “Dr. Richard Amerling is a nephrologist…an Associate Professor of at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and the Director of Outpatient Dialysis at the Beth Israel Medical Center. …He has written and lectured extensively on health care issues and is a Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons [AAPS]. Dr. Amerling is the author of the Physicians’ Declaration of Independence at
Dr. Amerling has been quoted as saying: “ObamaCare, beyond the enormous costs and dislocations, directly inserts itself into the doctor-patient relationship. It will make the practice of Hippocratic Medicine— ‘I will prescribe regimen for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment. I will keep them from harm and injustice.’ —all but impossible.”
Associated website:

Dr. Robert Steele is a cardiologist and "...vocal critic of Obamacare..."

Dr. Michael Burgess, MD, was an Obstetrician/Gynecologist before being elected to the House of Representatives in Washington D.C. Burgess was quoted by WND as saying about ObamaCare: “I think we have to be prepared to say to the American people, ‘Look, we’ve had three-and-a-half years, billions and billions of dollars, it’s not working. For heaven’s sakes, don’t spend another dime on this disaster!”

Dr. Art Fougner is a “recovering obstetrician” according to his Twitter profile.

Paul Hsieh, MD, is a physician and co-founder of Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine (FIRM).
His writings can also be found at:

Dr. Ori Hampel is a urologist. He was named one of Houston’s “Top Docs” by H-Texas Magazine. Dr. Hampel is an expert on healthcare reform. He has been a frequent guest speaker on talk radio. He has been a very active educator of the public on the dangers and costs posed to patients by PPACA (“ObamaCare”) as well as by other existing Government regulations and agencies. Dr. Hampel is co-founder and vice-president of the Texas Chapter of Docs4PatientCare. Dr. Hampel is an avid chess player and has achieved the ranking of “Candidate Master” by the U.S. Chess Federation.

Dr. Rand Paul's other Twitter account is below.

Rand Paul is a physician and a senator for the state of Kentucky. His father is Dr. Ron Paul. “…fights for the Constitution, individual liberty and the freedoms that make this country great.”

Dr. Ron Paul. Physician. Congressman. Father of Dr. Rand Paul.

Dr. Ben Carson, a famous neurosurgeon, lectured Obama on his bad policies. Dr. Carson proposed a system of medical savings accounts set up at birth, which is a far better idea than ObamaCare.

Dr. Elena Sbrana is a pathologist. She was quoted on the University of Texas website: “After all, this is Pathology: questioning comes with the territory - we ask questions and we look for evidence. Sometimes we even find answers, isn't that the most exciting career of all?” 

Craig Wax, D.O. is a doctor of osteopathic medicine and a holistic family physician. He has a blog about healthcare reform:

“Barrasso is known by many as Wyoming’s Doctor. He has a long and recognized career in both medicine and public service. During 24 years as an orthopedic surgeon in Casper, Barrasso served as President of the Wyoming Medical Society and was named Wyoming Physician of the Year.”

Marilyn Singleton, MD, JD is an anesthesiologist and according to her Twitter profile is a “Nonpartisan physician/attorney fighting to end Washington's wasteful spending, and for common-sense community solutions to joblessness and social problems.”

Twitter profile reads: “…independent constitutional conservative... physician and former nurse... artist... first-generation non-hyphenated Lithuanian American...”

Dr. Jane Hughes is an Ophthalmic Surgeon. She is an activist for non-government controlled medicine. She is President of the Texas chapter of and is Co-Founder

Twitter profile: “Christian, husband, father of four, anesthesiologist, scout leader. Conservative in life and politics.”

Dr. Matt McCord is an anesthesiologist. His Twitter profile also says: “Health Care Administrator. Instructor. Adviser. Consultant. Entrepreneur.”

Dr. Dave Janda is an orthopedic surgeon and health care policy analyst. He has a radio show called Operation Freedom every Sunday from 3-5PM ET on WAAM Radio. His website is:

Dr. Joel Strom is a practicing dentist in Los Angeles. He is the founder of Doc Squads (@DocSquads) and is a Healthcare lecturer.

Dr. Charles Krauthammer graduated with honors in political science and economics in 1970 from McGill University. He graduated from Harvard Medical School and became a board certified psychiatrist. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist.

Dr. David Mokotof. Twitter profile reads, "Cardiologist for over 30 years. Edgy reflections on medicine, health policy, politics, and whatever pops up in my politically incorrect mind." 

Dr. Brad Holland is a "A Head & Neck Surgeon practicing Otolaryngology with Waco Ear, Nose, & Throat in Waco Texas, and currently serving as McLennan County Republican Club Chairman."

Dr. Kenneth Fisher, M.D., is a nephrologist and is presently President, Michigan Chapter Docs4PatientCare.

Lee Ritz's Twitter profile says: physician, and "Will never be a member of NOW, AMA or AARP. Proud NRA member." Her tweets are good, but as yet I do know her credentials. Checking.

Dr. Kelli Ward. Her Twitter profile reads: "Military wife, mom, family doctor, and AZ State Senator; striving to be a statesman with faith, integrity and honor; restoring the America of our Founders."

Dr. Barbara Bellar. Her Twitter profile reads: "Dr. Bellar is the kind of citizen legislator we need now." Her famous YouTube video seen by over 3,509,262 people is here:

Twitter profile says: "christian, wife, mom, medical doctor ... Frederick Douglass Republican"

Twitter profile says, "Zachary Smith, MD"

Twitter Profile: "Kathleen Brown. I am a Dermatologist practicing medicine on the Oregon Coast."

Twitter Profile: "bhavin h jani MD. Internist,free market enthusiast,constitutionalist, confused between libertarian and moderate conservative"

Dr. Scott Gottlieb is a "Physician, Author, American Enterprise Institute Fellow, former FDA Deputy Commissioner and CMS official." He does a great job writing about the flaws of Obamacare. He blogs at:
and here:

Donald Lane, M.D.

Twitter Profile: PDara MD, FACP, Physician (Medical Hematologist-Oncologist), Pilot, Author, Educator, Husband, Father and Student.

Twitter profile: compassionate, educated, husband/father/doctor, patriot

Twitter profile: Paul Koerner, MD, Christian, Radiation Oncologist, conservative, keeper of the Telecaster, got a band"

Twitter profile: "Author, Journalist, Physician, media advisor, President of Healthnets Review Services and Davis Book Reviews, An author's best friend. Author of three books.
Wrote: Obama Care: Dead on Arrival: A Prescription for Disaster

Dr. Melissa Clouthier is a chiropractor, a Texan, and a mom.

Twitter profile: "Internal Medicine Physician, Christian Dad, International Medical Missions spreading Gospel. UVa Alumnus #Wahoowa OleMiss Rebel #HottyToddy #tcot #ccot USAF vet"

Twitter profile: physician, CA.

Twitter profile: "Citizen for God-given rights, Physician for real healthcare reform that promotes personal responsibility and prosperity"




Twitter profile: "I'm a doctor, not a career politician. I'm working to ensure the citizens of Northern Michigan have their voices heard in Congress."

Twitter Profile: "Daughter of legal immigrants who fulfilled the American, mother, wife, & friend....followed by Senator Ted Cruz"


Twitter profile: "Dr. Gina Reghetti. Board Certified U.S.A. Osteopathic Family Medicine & Addiction Medicine Physician-Surgeon... Patriot."

Free Market Medicine is the only answer. No government, no insurance company between you and your doctor!

Freedom from bureaucratic and governmental invasion into the examination room.

Dr. Paige Kreegel. Twitter profile: Father. Doctor. Conservative. Republican. #FL19
Fort Myers, FL

Dr. Ellen McKnight
Excellent video:

The patient should be the most powerful person in the healthcare system, because it is the patient’s life, and the patient’s health, that are at stake. The patient should be able to go to any doctor they choose, or to any hospital or clinic they think best. The physician should be the strongest possible advocate for patient, as should nurses and all allied healthcare professionals. Above is a list of physicians on Twitter who should be followed if you are interested in healthcare reform and Patient Power. It is very important to follow, support, and re-tweet these doctors’ good tweets so that they will stay engaged in the fight for the best healthcare system possible for patients. It is my impression that the people above will fight for the sanctity of the patient/physician relationship. I apologize in advance for any mistakes. (I cannot verify everyone as yet.)