Free markets are generally by rules of economics, such as: supply and demand and other principles we’re accustomed to, like paying more for quality service. The health insurance companies however have come between patients and their healthcare for so long that patients generally don’t know what the cost is of most of the care they receive.
Doctors, also, don’t generally know when they will be paid for procedures or the amount – payments can take up to three months or longer.
There has been a trend recently in the media and from our politicians to push for cash-based payment for medical services – bypassing insurance for all but catastrophic incidents like major surgery.
The idea is gaining momentum and for good reason. An article from the Wall Street Journal details how a colonoscopy in San Francisco varies between $600 and $5,500 meaning if the prices were known and you could shop them, you could save 89% on this single procedure. A woman who starts getting colonoscopies at age 40 and continues receiving them every three years until age 80 – the typical female lifespan in the U.S. could save more than $63,000 on colonoscopies alone. Read more : http://blog.umahealth.com/