Comcast reinventing healthcare?

This story claims that Comcast has stabilized its healthcare spending at 1% annual growth by introducing services such as: telemedical services, second opinion services and care navigations services. These are fine steps but they don't get to the true heart of the matter. We believe that it's well known how to not just slow medical inflation but rather to reduce it, but that most employers are reluctant to take the necessary steps for fear of alienating employees in a competitive market for talent. We also believe that regulators seeking to protect consumers, inadvertently undermine the strategies and tactics required to reduce the cost of care. The root cause of excessive healthcare costs is that the U.S. healthcare system is in truth a sickness system organized around wasteful hospitals. Hospitals are permitted to be be less efficient with their diagnoses and treatments and to charge more for diagnoses and treatments, and to obscure this reality from purchasers and consumers. If Comcast and other large purchasers were willing to allow their benefit plans to expose real cost differences between suppliers and to route care to the most efficient supplier, the system would really change. We'll provide in a future post concrete examples of how this is done. - Sanders DiPiero

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