Arthur Laffer nailed it in The Wall Street Journal yesterday when he talked about the lack of patient involvement in the cost-benefit analysis of health care services. A typical patient only incurs a very small cost at the point of procedure and enjoys lots of subsidies, either from the government in Medicare or from the employer in a group plan. As a result, patients demand more services than they otherwise would if they were paying for the service. Please see the following link to read the whole article. It is a great read… Read it here
Instituting better cost-sharing in Medicare would be a great way to save expenses. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) needs to introduce medigap or supplement plans that have more cost sharing. The most popular supplement plan in Medicare is Plan F, which costs seniors between $125-$275 per month and covers virtually all out of pocket costs. Many of these plan designs have not been updated for years and years. The good news is that CMS has finally introduced a co-pay plan for the doctor- thirty years after private insurance did! Any sort of progress can help.