Would you put your health in the hands of the lowest bidder?

By: Karen Hawthorne, M. A. | General Health | Thursday, August 28, 2014 – 11:50


costs, health, surgery‘m all for access to quality health care. For Americans, however, it is not always easy to shell out $ 5,000 for an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan to diagnose tumors, fatty liver disease or inflammation of the spine. Not everyone has the money or the coverage available.

However, in the Internet age, when you can shop online for a watch with great discounts, compare car prices or find a new husband, we should be looking for the “best” in replacement surgery knee or hip?

Would you feel comfortable leaving a doctor who has never seen perform invasive surgery, just to save money?

That’s exactly what’s going through Medibid in the United States, a website where doctors can go to auction their medical services. People can assess from doctors around the country and make an offer on services. It may sound more like eBay ER, but …

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While Medibid not provide quality control when it comes to doctors who bid for their dollars, the company pushes transparency, value, choice and competition. With insurers, often only it is known if the doctor going to see is within the network –

contracted with your insurance company for reimbursement at a negotiated rate – or not. But through Medibid, the customer can review the profiles of physicians who provide more details about where they went to medical school, your experience, how many surgeries they have done before, and a review of patients.

The onus is on the individual to do the ground work, research, professional and make a decision if the deal is right. For a fee of $ 25, you can type in your request for surgery and some details about yourself and then wait for the offers in response. If you are an employer with a benefit plan, you can offer the service to their employees so they can get a cash price, which is often half the price of the insurance company says Medibid. This translates into savings of up to 38 percent on their health costs.
The most common surgeries are knee and hip replacements, rotator cuff repair and colonoscopies -. Scheduled surgeries that traditionally have long waiting times and inflated invoices

Some are calling the service a win-win. Perry said Hunt Today Show your health insurance would not pay for a hip replacement $ 70,000. Through Medibid, he met Dr. Adam Harris, an orthopedist in San Antonio, who offered him $ 21,000 surgery.

“I kept reading review after review, I knew it would be my guy,” Hunt told NBC .

Dr. Harris, meanwhile, insists examine patients in person before agreeing to take cases, although it may be the exception. “For the person who is looking for what I have to offer is a good way for us to find each other,” he says. “My goal is to take care of individual patients as if they were family. I charge a reasonable fee for a high quality service.”

Clinicians benefit, too, to be paid at the time of care. With traditional insurance, prices are set and it often takes 120 days to get paid.

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With the dramatic changes in healthcare forcing people to understand how they can bear the costs, perhaps this has some sense. the hospital waiting times may be impossible. Hospital bills are incomprehensible and often inflated. A 2012 report by the Institute of Medicine Health suggests a third or more of the health costs are wasted. unnecessary services, excessive administrative costs and fraud were the main root problems. In addition, system inefficiencies cause unnecessary suffering. According to one estimate, approximately 75,000 deaths could have been prevented in 2005 if every state had given attention to the quality level of the best performance status.

The situation is asking employers to compete for the delivery of better, cheaper and faster care.

That’s why we’re seeing Wal-Mart, Walgreens, CVS and other retailers set up clinics on site. They are offering suitable alternatives, inexpensive to hospitals and doctors’ offices.

Call me old fashioned, but I do not think that buying a surgeon online is the safest way to go. Surgery is invasive, errors can occur, there are always risks. If something goes wrong, do not you want to be in a hospital where you can get intervention and care you may need?

people like to use the Internet to self-diagnose or be armed with information to discuss your concerns with your doctor. If it is a serious problem, they want to know what they are doing against and an idea of ​​the costs involved. I see the Internet as a valuable resource, but not as a means for a medical procedure that alters life.

I think we should all take a step back surgery eBay style and continue shopping for deals on shoes instead of the knees and hips. true?

Karen Hawthorne is editor in Health and eTalk BelMarraHealth.com. Karen has worked for the National Post, Postmedia News, CBC Radio Vancouver, the Edmonton Journal, the Register of Kitchener-Waterloo and the Cobourg Daily Star, reporting on health news and trends in lifestyle for more than 15 years .


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