Friday, May 15, 2009

Health Care - Where's the Value Added?

Where is the value added to the American consumer in a health insurance company run system? By my lights:

  • health insurance companies don't reduce costs (apparently),
  • health insurance companies routinely create roadblocks to care or outright denial of service despite their contract and then daring sick people to sue them,
  • health insurance companies drop coverage on sick people by retroactively scrutinizing applications to ferret out reasons the policy shouldn't have been issued in the first place
  • health insurance companies effectively exclude those who have been ill in the past from coverage
  • health insurance companies burden heath providers with paperwork to slow the payout and discourage appeals,
  • health insurance companies abuse and starve down the most basic health care providers--like family practice doctors, who are on a 10 minute treadmill (8 to see the patient and 2 to do the paperwork) to the point nobody wants to be a Family Practice doctor anymore and
  • health insurance companies suck all the profits from health care that could have been used to both reduce costs, expand coverage and pay primary care providers.

Where is the value added to our system by health insurance companies?

I'm not saying everybody should get free health care from the government. But for all the cash American citizens are pouring into this system, we should be getting much more for our money in terms of transparency, organization and management, not to mention health care.

Computer systems have advanced to the point where paying all the premiums American's are now paying to health insurance companies into a central fund and dispersing it electronically would cut out 90% of the need for insurance companies all together.

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