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Should I pick the quality mechanic or the cheap mechanic?
Friday Pulse Check
As a friendly reminder we are now thirty-five days into the No Surprises Act and there is still no Independent Dispute Resolution process. Maybe next week.
Earlier this week, UnitedHealthcare announced that they are launching a new program that places imaging centers into different tiers, the highest being “Designated Diagnostic Provider.” In theory, it is a way for UHC to tell patients “We prefer you go to this imaging center because it is better than that imaging center.” To figure out placement, they are surveying groups to determine if they are accredited, do tests in a timely manner, submit electronic images, and “efficiency.”
What’s the problem with this? Ninety-nine percent of imaging centers meet those criteria. UHC even said in a statement that it was treating quality and efficiency as the same. Efficiency, by the way, is a fancy word for “cost” in the insurance world. In the article we used the analogy about quality mechanics. Would you rather pick the quality mechanic or the cheap mechanic? Let us know in the comments on that post or below.
We looked at how UHC’s program could affect the quality of the care patients receive. Read it here.
We also looked at another seemingly good situation that may have not so good consequences. In Massachusetts, Mass General Brigham is planning on a $2.3 billion expansion. This may provide more care in some instances, but it is likely to drive up costs for patients. We explain how hospital monopolies create more costs and can lower the quality of healthcare.
On Tuesday, California failed to pass universal healthcare legislation. Again. You might be curious how a state legislature that is controlled by Democrats and a Democratic governor who campaigned on universal healthcare were unable to get this done. Well, simply put even they saw how that plan would ruin the state.
California’s annual budget is currently around $262 billion. Their universal healthcare plan would have added about $356 billion on top of that. You do the math. A state that already has some of the highest taxes in the country, is hemorrhaging taxpayers to other states, and is losing businesses to other states can’t afford to tax on another new tax.
From a healthcare perspective, it would also put a huge strain on California’s hospital and delivery systems. People, who in many cases may not contribute to the state’s taxes, could start flocking to the state because of the “free” healthcare. It will be so “free” that no one would actually be able to get it.
One last thing…
Before you go, we wanted to ask if you wouldn’t mind following our parent organization on Twitter. You can click the link here or search for @FulcrumStrat. You can also follow some of our authors there as well including @RonHowrigon. It’s an easy way to stay connected to us and a great way to see some of the articles we are reading throughout the week.
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Have a good weekend,