3 Datapoints towards our Healthcare future
1. Wal-Mart’s 2700 U.S. stores began offering more vaccinations. From influenza and pneumonia to shingles, meningitis, hepatitis and the human papillomavirus, a registered nurse at a pop up kiosk can help add to the $29 billion dollars WalMart takes in annually from prescription and over the counter drugs in the USA.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Wal-Mart said that by using a network of nurses, instead of pharmacists, it will be able to administer a larger variety of shots to more people.
2. ObamaCare architect Atul Gawande says that “that medicine would function better if care were delivered by huge health systems that can achieve economies of scale, like commercial kitchens. Care ought to be standardized like preparing a side of beef, with a ‘single default way’ to perform each treatment supposedly based on evidence, with little room for personalization.”2
3. Hospitals are frantically buying physician’s practices, and then raising fees dramatically because insurance pays substantially more for certain services if they are performed at hospital facilities. For example, Medicare pays about $70 for a 15-minute doctor visit, but the same visit ran about $124 if billed as hospital-outpatient.3
Weiniger’s Prediction: Insurance will be covering less and less as time goes on, with more “one size fits all fast food” care.
Simultaneously many boomers will be increasingly focusing on their health, especially as IRA funds become available after age 65. The opportunity is building perceived value today in what you do so your patient’s want to come in and pay out of pocket.
2 Cheesecake Factory Medicine , Wall Street Journal 8/27/12
3 Same Doctor Visit, Double the Cost: Insurers Say Rates Can Surge After Hospitals Buy Private Physician Practices; Medicare Spending Rises, Too Wall Street Journal August 27, 2012