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New Web Site Open Health Exchange With Matchmaking Services For Employers Providing Group Insurance and Provider Connections-Mor

Posted Mar 27 2011 3:05pm

This doesn’t come as any surprise here as this is the name of the game, match image making algorithms, we see it everywhere.  The bidding war has begun with employers being able to submit a request for a list of medical services and procedures.  The next step is the bidding process with providers being able to submit their costs.  The employer appears to be able to “date” their providers I think <grin>.

If the bid is successful from the providers, the savings could be given back to employees in the form of incentives to use the providers who were selected, image never mind the quality of care you might get here though as this looks at money it seems, and this of course is not to say the selected group does not have quality by any means, but for the consumer, read, read, read and see what you are getting for the dollar spent.  This sure can stand to put a money wrench into the carrier pay for performance programs too which have been studied and they are not leading to better outcomes overall. 

The big question remains though as to whether or not the employers will jump on this band wagon as it seems there could be some legal loop holes that could develop even though it sounds good in theory.  We have already seen sites on the internet where individuals can put their own procedure up for bid and again, the big question here is outcome and the facility to where the procedure is done.  Come to think of it, why don’t these 2 get together and put the whole bidding thing together?  Might as well.   

With all these numerous processes, we still have folks on the web wondering why consumers don’t want to get involved in their healthcare <grin>. 

Get a clue as image when you need care, you just want a procedure or to be taken care of and getting care should not require an Act of Congress for goodness sakes.  One more item here worth a mention, the site states that you can create a “Twitter” feed for the providers offering benefits.  I guess if employers are monitoring such, which remains to be seen with interest here, you could get a match, but again that is only the beginning with a price match and further investigation of course is required to make sure the match is there.  It’s like dating sites with how they use algorithms to match folks up, which today are really pretty “sorry” to say the least and for the most part are pretty useless in my opinion, but who knows how these algorithms will come into play. I’m sure glad we still have humans performing procedures that can evaluate a patient’s conditions, etc. and do more than just what an algorithm performs.  Some people today can’t seem to ever get out of these text boxes and wisely using information given is a whole other topic of it’s own, a big one that I should probably address soon.  BD 

(AP) -- Self-insured businesses looking to cut out the middleman when it comes to health care have a new way to solicit bids directly from doctors or hospitals.

Created by a doctor, a lawyer and a former benefits manager, Open Health Market is an online matchmaker of sorts: Employers submit requests for proposals for a category of medical services and procedures - knee surgeries, for example, or cardiac care. Health care providers then submit competing bids, which are then evaluated by the employer.

If an employer accepts a bid, the savings could then be passed along to employees in the form of incentives to go with the new provider, such as a waived deductible, said Don Crandlemire, the Concord lawyer who created the site along with Dr. Leonard Fromer of Los Angeles and Peter Hayes, former benefits manager at Scarborough, Maine-based Hannaford Bros. supermarkets.

Similarly, companies that use Open Health Market to get bids from far-flung providers might not end up cutting deals with any of them, but could use that information to approach local providers, he said.


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