Why are patients the first dot? Because consumers drive commerce (the marketplace). The consumer decides if the product or service is priced so they can afford it, and if the quality is worth the price. Today's health care system, however, is the most consumer-unfriendly marketplace for any product or service in the U.S. economy.
Consumer patients have no provider price or quality information. When a patient tries to find out the price, the answer is a question, “Why are you asking? Don’t you have insurance?”
Health Care 2020 creates a consumer-friendly health care marketplace where patients are in control. It replaces today's consumer-unfriendly health system with a consumer-friendly system.
By aligning Patients, Employers, Providers, Payors, and Government, through Health Care 2020, patients can become health care consumers.
A redesigned health care marketplace means patients will be able to tap into privately-run, Health Information Exchanges (Chapter 16), where they can learn about provider prices, quality and outcomes.
The keys to the new health care marketplace are price transparency, competition, information and the empowerment of patients to control their own use of and payment for health care.
Health Care 2020 starts with the patient's best interest and provides necessary tools and information to create access to quality, more affordable health care and less expensive health insurance.