By Bill Rusteberg
Forty years of managed care has lead to unsustainable high costs bankrupting the American middle class. Now something amazing is happening.
More plan sponsors are wiser than ever before thanks to a growing number of health care revolutionaries the likes of which have been inspired by Dave Chase and his band of roving dragoon slayers. A growing horde of long lost brothers and sisters, separated at birth, are joining the movement to bring sanity back to health care financing.
They have learned how to fix health care. And the results are impressive.
Take for example two South Texas school districts who have not had a rate increase in 15 years while improving benefits at the same time. Or how about a university system, tiring after receiving double digit rate increases every year from their BUCA partner, decided they could fix health care all by themselves and have done so with incredible success. There are hundreds of stories like this and the word is spreading.
Fixing health care is based on two premises: (1) Health care costs are a direct result of what one agrees to pay and another agrees to accept and (2) Removing the third person from the examining room brings back the physician-patient relationship to what it has always needed to be.
Fixing health care is based on the understanding health care costs have essentially remained static for the past 15 years but insurance costs haven’t. This compelling truth is founded squarely on a pervasive collaborative intrigue within the health care industrial complex to turbocharge profits behind closed, smoke filled rooms at the expense of the American middle class.
Fixing health care is not rocket science. The key is to the past. Go back to the days before PPOs and HMOs were birthed – plan sponsors don’t need contracts with health care providers. Indemnify providers equally, fairly, and transparently. Use cash every chance you can for even better pricing. Eliminate financial barriers to health care such as deductibles. Deductibles are silly. Don’t insure primary care, that’s silly too. (That’s like buying fan belt insurance for your car). Instead promote it, encourage it, and pay cash for it. And don’t pay for expensive drugs that can bankrupt a plan faster than a melting raspa in deep South Texas on an August afternoon. Find alternatives. There are many.
A plan sponsor adopting these strategies can expect an average employee only rate of $400 or less and a total family rate of <$1,000 per month. That’s been our experience. It can be yours too.