Free Market Medicine

  • Core Team

    Free Market Medicine is an overarching topic that includes: Direct Patient Care, Price Transparency, Freestanding Ancillary Services such as Surgery Centers, Imaging Centers Laboratories and Independent Pharmacies, amongst others.

    Direct Patient Care is the up and coming reimbursement and care delivery model in which government, employers or individuals pay a set monthly fee for a prescribed list of services. It does not involve insurance, therefore no copays, deductibles or out-of-pocket maximums.
    No longer limited to primary care, several specialties now feature this membership medicine model as well, including Dermatology, Ophthalmology and Rheumatology.

    Price transparency is becoming more and more important as deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums continue to climb. Independent price transparency resources such as Pratter< Healthcare Blue Book, MDSave and ClearHealthCosts are important in helping consumers locate low-cost alternatives to hospitals and hospital-owned ancillary services. Why? Because these facilities are allowed to charge "facility fees" which can increase one's bills by 80% and upwards.

    The freestanding, independent non-hospital owned ancillary centers make it possible to find these low-cost alternatives.

  • Core Team

    Here’s a perfect example of why Free Market Medicine is so vitally important!

  • I just thought of an interesting analogy for insurance coverage in a free market system:

    Think back to the last time you bought a gallon of milk. You drove to the store or gas station depending on your other needs. You might have wanted white, chocolate, or even strawberry milk. There might be a specific brand you like the best out of Borden, Dairy Fresh, or Organic Valley. Or you might just grab the cheapest gallon you can get. Of course, you check the expiration date before you walk off.

    You just participated in a nearly perfect free market system based on factors you valued the most:

    • Location. You chose your location based on convenience & opportunity costs.

    • Choice. You had the freedom to pick whatever milk you desired the most.

    • Price. You had the option to purchase the top of the line organic milk or go with the cheapest gallon.

    • Expiration. You were aware of how much time you had left to drink your milk before it went sour.

    If we had insurance coverage for milk, your purchase location would be limited to only two gas stations at the other end of town. Your only choice with your plan is to buy milk from one shelf, and forget the prices because they don't apply to you. Once you checkout, the cashier will send a claim to your insurance company, they'll haggle back and forth for a few weeks, then you'll receive your portion of the bill in 60-90 days. If it's more than the actual price of milk, you're still on the hook for paying it.

  • Core Team

    La Crosse, WI school district saves $1.5 million with DPC! City of La Crosse and the county also use DPC for their employees.