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The current health care reform bill (HR3590) mostly has focused on reforming health care insurance. Another area which might need as much reform is the provider system itself.
Here are some interesting facts on the provider medical market and influence:
The US has one of the lowest number of MD's per capita in the industrialized world.
According to CNN Money the top 4 paying jobs in the US are all medical professionals. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 8 of the top ten jobs (average hourly wage) are MDs.
Only 3,500 US trained MDs compared with 7,000 international peers will enter graduate training (medical residencies) in US medical hospitals according to the Center for Workplace Studies.
During the 1980's and 1990's only one US medical has been established.
According to Open Secrets, the American Medical Association (AMA), and American Hospital Association (AHA) ranked number 2 and 5 respectively in spending as lobby client groups in the US (1998-2009).
According to OHSU (web site) they receive 4,578 applicants and graduate 120 MDs (2.6 % applicant to graduate rate). They accept about 4.8%.
Based on much of my understanding of the marketplace, there is an intentional undersupply of medical providers for decades, with the help of powerful lobbyists in our government. For example, if we have fully functioning provider marketplace, why would a president need to have special meetings with the AMA and AHA?
I have personal evidence of my suspicions. I recently noticed that my medical provider charged $1,100 (2 patients) for a junior high school checkup (with immunizations). Since we thought the provider was expensive, we asked if we could see a list of the prices for services. The provider refused to provide any list of prices, and told us that we needed to ask for a particular service in order to get a price. So imagine going into a store, or a repair shop where prices are not known.
Here are some more questions for us to think about:
How often do you ask how much a service costs?
Are prices for medical services easy to find (like all the other services we use)?
How often do you shop for medical services?
How often do you review the billed amount for a service?
Thanks for letting me think and speak out loud.
posted 3 years, 1 month ago
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