Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Markets In Everything: Name Your Price for LASIK

At Price.Doc you can shop for the best cash price for: dental procedures (braces, bridges, crowns, fillings, etc.), medical procedures, vision (glasses, contacts, LASIK surgery, etc.), cosmetic procedures (facelift, breast implants, nose reshaping, etc.). You can also get coupons for many procedures, request a cash price from a listed provider, make a cash offer for a listed procedure, or name your price for a specific procedure (and Price.Doc will try to find a provider).

From its website: "Pricing transparency is fair and balanced and allows healthcare providers to focus on what they do best – taking care of patients. PriceDoc will help consumers make more informed buying decisions and will help keep pricing open and honest. PriceDoc doesn’t solve the healthcare crisis in America, but goes a long way to advancing the solution."


MP: Another market-based solution to rising health care costs.

15 Comments:

At 5/12/2010 8:57 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Hmmm, PriceDoc...

A lot like Yelp it seems but with more targeted information...

Thanks for the link...

 
At 5/12/2010 9:37 AM, Blogger misterjosh said...

Not much in Minneapolis. LASIK listings are useless - free consultation, etc. I want a real price quote for a real procedure - even if it's one that I'm not going to be getting. That's one of the reasons I haven't gotten my eyes done yet. I can't get a good handle on a price without a lot of hassle.

 
At 5/12/2010 9:59 AM, Blogger Dean_L said...

That'll never work - it's a free market solution in an increasingly socialized medical industry. How long before PriceDoc becomes GovDoc? Then Government can name your price for Lasik.

Other than that, it sounds like a great idea.

 
At 5/12/2010 11:22 AM, Anonymous argonaut said...

This is a very nice small-med example of getting away from the hidden-pricing cabals which dominate our current healthcare system.

It would be interesting to see how the visible pricing concept could be extended into the big-med realm (think: major surgeries and long-term care).

 
At 5/12/2010 12:30 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Free markets in health care?

Maybe voodoo will make a comeback. Snake oil anyone?
How about "Quacks R Us."

I am not sure regulation has worked though,. Chiropractors are frauds, and yet now they bill private-sector insurance companies.

 
At 5/12/2010 12:41 PM, Anonymous Eric H said...

"Chiropractors are frauds, and yet now they bill private-sector insurance companies."

I have a formerly bulged disc that begs to differ. At least they don't prescribe a magic pill for every problem. I operate on a cash basis with mine. Every insurance policy I've had in TN won't pay for chiropractic until you meet the annual deductible, which I've never met even with regular visits.

 
At 5/12/2010 1:39 PM, Blogger S.S. said...

heh heh Why pay exorbitant rates for a procedure that you can do yourself at home? http://www.lasikathome.com/index.html

 
At 5/12/2010 1:41 PM, Anonymous Benny The Man said...

Eric H.--

I am glad you feel better. The quack had nothing to do with it.

Moreover, if the quack is "snapping" or "cracking" your neck, you are at risk.

My advice: Build up your stomach and back muscles through exercise. If possible and necessary, lose weight (easy to say...). Stretch.

Best of luck. I have had back problems too.

 
At 5/12/2010 3:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Benny : you know nothing about Eric H's medical problems, how in the world can you say the chiro didn't help?

I'm certainly skeptical of chiro's that claim to cure illness (viral and microbial infections like cold/flu/others), but muscles & ligaments & skeletal issues are certainly treatable by chiros.

I think the 2 comments about "quaks r us" and "do it at home" really point out the issue with this - the perception that if you pay less you get less or less quality. "No one" wants to go cheap on medical care. "We all" want the very best that someone else's money can buy!!!

I'm certainly going to be looking into this as I'd love to get lasik, but just can't bring myself to drop $1500+ on it.

 
At 5/12/2010 4:15 PM, Anonymous Benny The Man said...

Anon:

There is nothing a quack-chiro does that any good massage person can't do.

And the rest of what chrios do is quackery--or dangerous. The neck cracking can have serious consequences, including stroke.

An unintended consequence of totally free enterprise and health care would be a flourishing trade of quacks. Cheaper perhaps, more patient-accessible or friendly, more optimistic in their prognoses for sure.

Deep in the human soul we crave for shamans.

Medical outcomes are iffy even with real science. Lots of camoflouge out there for the quacks. I think Steve McQueen died from rectal cancer that he had "treated" with coffee-bean enemas in Mexico. Imagine the results of that!

The fate of Steve McQueen's rear end was an unintended consequence of free enterprise meeting health care, and an intelligent but layman consumer.

It is a tricky area of our economy.

 
At 5/12/2010 4:18 PM, Anonymous Steve said...

I wonder how they obtain the information cause most patients submit everything to insurance. Plus procedures paid in cash are often at a different price.

 
At 5/12/2010 5:11 PM, Anonymous Lyle said...

Benny's comment reflects the way medicine was conducted before regulation. In the 19th century, you could concoct any tonic you please and hang out a shingle and practice medicine. John D. Rockefellers father was such a "Doctor". Now of course back then a lot of what the Dr did was to hold the hand and say how sorry he was. (could fix bones and somewhat more, but not a lot of what exists today). A free entry model would force good physicians into large group practices such as mayo, Cleveland clinic and the like as that would be the good housekeeping seal.
Of course today for a number of non emergency proceedures you can ask for a price in Costa Rica or Thailand if your willing to pay cash. No matter what happens if you are rich enough you can get any medical care you want even if it kills you (Michael Jackson et.al.) It will always be that way for the non-emergency cases.

 
At 5/12/2010 6:18 PM, Anonymous morganovich said...

benny-

you are way off base on this chiropractor rant. sure, there are quack chiros, just as there are quack doctors and surgeons, but as someone who has spent 25 years as a competitive athlete, let me tell you, they work.

your claim about massage is just stupid. muscle and bone are different things. you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. no amount of massage fixes a pinched nerve. hell, you don't even feel it where the problem is. race 500 miles over a weekend and see if you want one...

as someone who used to get the the services of both a masseuse and a chiro between stages of races, i know exactly what the difference is and what the effects are. i've even done wattage tests pre and post adjustment and seen huge jumps when returned to symmetry.

every pro bike team has a chiropractor. nearly every racer i know uses one (especially now that we race masters). my teammate was told by an MD he needed surgery and was fixed by my chiropractor in 3 weeks.

i have no idea where you are getting this quack thing, but a few bad apples does not discredit a profession.

if it did, we'd have no doctors, stockbrokers, philosophers, or scientists.

you can find a quack anywhere money changes hands.

 
At 5/12/2010 7:12 PM, Blogger misterjosh said...

Benny,
Fortunately, fake medicine works almost as well as real.

 
At 5/12/2010 11:13 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

>"Free markets in health care?"

Why should a market in health care be different from any other market?

 

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