Patients need freedom to shop for cost and quality in a free market
Patients must become knowledgeable about the market
This will be possible through all the readily available information providers will be required to provide. Furthermore, 2nd opinions will be required for all non-urgent care procedures over a certain amount with no restrictions on patients switching doctors. Patients will select a second opinion for consultation in the same way and for the same posted fee as their first doctor.
Patients will select their 2nd opinion threshold amount when they purchase insurance. The higher the threshold, the higher premiums will be and vice versa. Insurance companies will want to encourage 2nd opinions as a means of lowering their costs. Patients will shop for costs and quality to save their own money via co-pays. Costs to them will already be much lower in this system.
Living wills will address how patients wish to be treated:
- Living wills will be required with generic wills being offered at a fixed minimal cost or for free.
- The will describes a variety of circumstances and options regarding heroic methods of extending life under a number of circumstances
- They will include options for organ donation if patients so desire
- Family and estates will be responsible for outstanding bills just as they are today
- A generic will will apply as a default “living will” for those who have not signed their own personal will
- Living wills will be readily available to health care providers via the Internet and other forms of communication