What does the price of gasoline and the price of a chest x-ray have in common? Not much really, except the price of both have gone up in the Atlanta area recently; but the former did so for expected reasons that are predicated on behavioral economics and the relationship of demand to price. The latter went up, well, because it could.
But the sticker shock that I’ve experience lately trying to find a price on a simple chest X-ray is not due to any shortages (either perceived or real) or any sudden increase in demand. Nor was it from a sudden increase in the cost of performing an X-ray or some phenomenal increase in quality that created a better image or less radiation exposure. Nope, none of the usual factors that go into predicting price behavior were at play.
Unlike the authors of the study, I have no doubt that the effects of consolidation to larger practices will just make them a meatier target for large health systems to take over. There is virtually no chance that the kind of consolidation we see in healthcare will result in an economy of scale that benefits patients or drives down costs. The examples of consolidation in the healthcare industry mostly point to concentrating power and escalating prices due the cartel-like relationship of PPO networks to large higher-cost providers. – The Sovereign Patient
US physicians are increasingly moving from smaller to larger group practices, a new study has shown.
THE WEDGE PRINCIPLES
- Transparent, Affordable Pricing
- Freedom to Choose
- True Patient Privacy
- No Government Reporting
- No Outside Interference
- Cash-Based Pricing
- Protected Patient-Doctor Relationship
- All Patients Welcome