Free Market Minute: Transparency

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Transparency is the new favorite buzzword. Genuine transparency and the application of honest, free market principles in healthcare solves not only the cost problem, but also inefficiencies, delivery, access, quality, and more.

President Trump recently signed two pieces of legislation touted to bring more transparency to drug pricing. These pieces of legislation ban gag clauses preventing pharmacists from informing a consumer if the cost of their medication is less expensive when they pay cash instead of using their health plan.

The positives of this bill mean that some patients may spend a bit less for their medications and their pharmacists won’t be hamstrung in their efforts to help a patient save money. But the legislation doesn’t address the actual overall cost of prescription drugs.

The real discussion of total cost seems to be an abhorrent topic in many circles. The preference is to focus on the spending of an individual for care or for their premiums. Those stories are easier to sell in a sound bite.

These storytellers fail to see (or hide) the true driver of these sad tales is overall aggregate cost of care. When the costs and quality are known, and can be compared, spending on healthcare, insurance coverage, and out-of-pocket expenses will drop significantly. This will not be achieved in D.C. by legislation.

How will it be achieved? The refusal of the Buyer to play the game. It is a fact of human nature that we want to be treated fairly; being fooled and/or exploited makes us very angry. Despite the corporate healthcare executives and their D.C. enablers frequently misjudging (purposefully?) Americans’ intelligence when it comes to their healthcare, patients are very adept at determining value when given the tools and opportunity to do so. As Joe Biden famously replied in Forbes to Epic Systems CEO Judy Faulkner’s condescending comment about health records, “If I need to, I’ll find someone to explain them to me and, by the way, I will understand a lot more than you think I do.”

As a self-funded employer, you don’t want to play anyone’s game; your simple goal is to have happy, healthy employees in the most cost-efficient way. Understandably, walking off the field may look insurmountable, but many self-funded employers have done it!

The FMMA’s mission is not only to connect the Buyers (you) with the Sellers of healthcare, but also to show you how to make it work!

In this issue you will find helpful information about how to start down the free market path, including a new series that dispels the myths and lies that self-funded employers are led to believe. (p. 29) Our newly enhanced ShopHealth Marketplace at FMMA.org is a tool to help you and your employees find healthcare Sellers who want to sell you quality care for an up-front fair cash price!   

Don’t miss the 2019 FMMA Annual Conference! 

Our 5th Annual Conference Keynote Speaker will be Dr. Ron Paul! The conference will also feature many self-funded employers who have walked your same path and want to

share their experiences with you.

Visit FMMA.org today to experience our ShopHealth Marketplace and find self-funding articles, case studies, and videos.

Megan Freedman

About Megan Freedman

Megan Freedman has worked with self-funded benefit plans for more than 15 years. For the past 12 years, she has worked with The Kempton Group serving as the Vice President of Corporate Communications. Ms. Freedman has extensive experience not only in employee benefits, but also marketing, sales, account management, executive support, and member services. Ms. Freedman is the Executive Director of the Free Market Medical Association. She was recently featured on Kevin Price’s Pricing in Business Radio show and writes and co-authors many articles, white papers, and educational materials. She is licensed in Life, Health, and AD&D in Oklahoma and Texas.

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