If you're like me, and you procrastinated reading Time magazine's cover story, Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us, here's some additional motivation. On Sunday, as I attacked Steven Brill's 26,000 word piece, I tweeted out a few excerpts. I've re-posted those 16 tweets below. It's a summary of sorts, in 2,000 characters. I am far from an expert on healthcare, but I found this to be a well-written and engaging article. 

My thoughts kept turning to: "what technology solutions can we apply to solve this problem?" A lot of the problems outlined in this essay seem intractable, but many appear to be ones that can be improved with greater information symmetry and coordination. Perhaps what the world needs is a "Yammer for medical bills?"  If you have any opinions on the matter, please share them below. 

3/6/2013 05:06:20

Awesome summary. I don't even feel that I need to read the articles now =)

Nadim Hossain
3/6/2013 06:54:24

Dave, I was about to say that you're defeating the point of my post (which was to get MORE people to talk about this topic), but on second thought, anything I can do to save time for busy entrepreneurs/fathers seems like a win :)

3/6/2013 06:05:53

Nadim, Thanks for summarizing. Here are a few of my thoughts...

There's no need for more regulation. The current healthcare system is a mess of rules, regulations (on the state level no-less), and strange incentives. It's just as bad as the tax system.

The key problem in healthcare is that the consumer is not the payor. Patients have little incentive or feedback mechanism to choose safer hospitals or cheaper drugs. A simple high deductible system with varying deductible levels based on income level would solve nearly all problems in the system. Good consumer reviews and feedback of providers and hospitals would reduce infection rates and speed care.

People and businesses respond to incentives. The current system and proposed single-payor systems don't implement the right feedback.

3/6/2013 06:52:14

Scott, Thanks for sharing your thoughts! You make great points regarding incentives vs regulations. Honestly, until now I've told myself: "if the smartest people in the US can't figure this out, why should I bother giving myself a headache?" I've now come around to the view that we can't afford to ALL have headaches trying to solve this. The stakes are too high.


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