Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Move Over Obamacare Here Comes Disruptive Innovation

While the creators of Obamacare chose to disregard any market-based solutions in favor of a government command and control system, it is an encouraging sign that private companies are continuing to innovate using the market to make healthcare more available and affordable. Some examples are:

  1. CVS has invested heavily in its walk-in MinuteClinic medical clinics, and plans to double the number of locations to 1,000 by 2015. Retail clinics represent a new channel to deliver primary care services more conveniently and at lower cost to consumers. As a new entrant, retail clinics represent a threat to many traditional health care industry stakeholders; however, to consumers, health plans and employers they offer an important care alternative with a strong value proposition. They provide convenient health care 7 days a week, with affordable, transparent low prices.

    Minor illness exam $69
    Minor injury exam $69
    Skin condition exam $69
    Wellness & physical exams $19-$104
    Health condition monitoring $69-$114
    Vaccinations $29.95- $147

    Not to be outdone, Wal-Mart is creating their own retail clinics, partnering with local healthcare providers to offer a similar cash for services concept.

  2. Similar in concept to, is an "online marketplace connecting healthcare providers with consumers looking for medical and dental procedures. PriceDoc enables consumers to compare and negotiate pricing on medical procedures in a given location in the U.S. while providers receive the benefit of generating patients who are willing to pay directly, out of pocket to the provider for their services. Featured within the web site are "Make Offer" and"Name Your Price," opening the door for consumers to negotiate with providers for the cost of their procedures."

  3. The No Insurance Club: Innovative Prepaid Medical Plans That Restore the Doctor-Patient Relationship. For an annual fee of just $480 for singles ($580 for couples and $680 for families) The No Insurance Club offers affordable pre-paid health care plans that cover basic medical services from a participating board-certified physician, with no deductibles, no additional premiums, and no co-payments. Services vary slightly depending on your location, but a $480 individual plan the typical physician covers 12-16 annual office visits, flu shot, pregnancy testing, EKG, an annual checkup, one sports physical, vision test, among other services


  1. Wow, I had no idea about the 'no insurance club'. That would be great for people to use instead of Cobra too, although I am guessing it doesn't cover something major.

    I wonder if there is a website where you could plug in the name of your prescription and it would return the 3 cheapest places to buy it?

  2. Interesting! I wonder if something can be done about $10,000 births and $100,000 surgeries. Those costs are simply insane...

  3. @kevin,

    If you work with the hospital while in your third trimester, you can actually negotiate down the price of births dramatically.

    Yes I love the innovation. For example, it is quite remarkable to see what CVS is doing and a lesson to the other major retailers.

  4. Maybe there should advertised fees like dentists do. At least you could compare.

  5. No one knows whether or the No Insurance Club will succeed or not. CVS and Wal-mart will succeed. To my way of thinking the only hope for medical costs to go down is competition, price transparency and a decline in third party payments.