8 Replies to “We need an Uber for health care”

  1. When Uber become too much for governments to handle it will become regulated also.  Can our markets please dictate supply and demand?!?!

  2. There actually is currently an Uber for medicine: its called Concierge Medicine, and it works as long as you are: 1) basically healthy and 2) wealthy. There is a fundamental fallacy in the application of the rational actor model and associated cost-benefit analysis to patient utilization of medical resources; even modifications incorporating assumptions of bounded rationality that approach realistic decision making undermine the entire analytical structure. Not only are people generally incapable of categorizing health risk in the future arising from decisions now, but the financial structure (with third party payers) decouples the patient/consumer from the real cost of the service. The idea that market forces can bring about either: 1) cost containment or 2) quality control has a ready counter-example that currently exists: cosmetic surgery. Here there is the classical supply/demand relationship between the consumer and service provider (since no third party payers), the price of cosmetic surgery is substantially higher that its "real" costs by any metric you would like to use (i.e. facilities, supplies, expertise/training of personnel), and the incidence of misadventures is certainly no better for equivalently complex medically indicated procedures. 

    This video is, unfortunately, too typical of the uninformed, superficial analysis that percolates through current discussions about economics of healthcare.

  3. You sound like you've had a medical emergency or even know someone who has. No, you don't have time to calmly look around for the cheapest options. I'll let you die if you don't pay me a million dollars. Yeah you have "freedom" to go ahead and die, but it's hardly the world most people want to live in.  By the very nature of the business it can never be properly  controlled by market forces.

  4. I tried finding a doctor that would take me on as a patient and I only went to 3 doctors in my area and they all said that they were not taking on anymore patients.  I was sick at the time and clearly sick and no one would see me.  The office people had no compassion.  I finally went to Walmart and saw the nurse there and got the round of antibiotics that I needed at the time for my sinus infection.  So I did that several times for my annual sinus infection, went to the Walmart nurse to get antibiotics, then one day, the nurse wouldn't give me any antibiotics.  The overweight nurse Nazi told me that I only had a cold and would have to wait it out and drink lots of fluids.  WTF, is there a test for that, to determine whether it's a cold or a sinus infection.  I didn't even get my money back for the visit.  Desperate, I went online and discovered that unless it's a controlled substance, you can purchase uncontrolled drugs online legally.  I purchased 4 rounds of antibiotics online for the price of one nurse's visit at Walmart.  It was peace of mind to know that if I got sick, I'd have what I needed on hand.  Now I practice more and more alternative medicine and changing my diet so that I don't get sick once a year.  I've gone from taking 4 prescription medications a day in 2007 to not getting sick at all in 2014.

  5. NIce to see my ex-Prof on this – I just found his blog via Capital Ideas.  I had been mentioning about an Uber for health care and my colleague/friend is doing a mobile app that I christened it to the same moniker prior to seeing this post. Curely.co (app is Curely)

  6. I like the concept, but one of the problems we know is that the more a hospital does a specific surgery the fewer the complications and the better the outcome for the patient. Thus more hospitals doing fewer procedures equals worse outcomes.

  7. My understanding is that Uber drivers don't profit and in some cases operate at a loss. Can you address this concern? If it's true, how might an Uber-like model of health care be different and not self-destructive to doctors?

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