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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.