How About a Little Extra Mayo?


I was watching Good Morning America the other day when they did a feature on the Mayo Clinic Model of heath care. It was intriguing, and gave me the briefest glimmer of hope. Mayo is a not for profit organization, some of whose doctors work on salary, as opposed to on a per treatment basis.

“I’m not figuring out how do I work most efficiently to get the most out of reimbursement. I’m working most efficiently for the needs of the patient.”

Dr. Dana Thompson, pediatric surgeon.

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What made this different in my mind was that it was actually dealing with the cost of health care, not the cost of health insurance. The debate, and media coverage has blurred the distinction. The only thing that wasn’t mentioned was actual figures.

Speaking of cost, here is an interesting site called Healthcare Bluebook. It gives what a “fair” price should be for various medical procedures and office visits. I like that it puts some of the responsibility in the hands of the patient. We need to shop around, and let market forces determine some of the cost. Having said that, I’ve got to admit that these figures still seem high to me. $73 for ten minutes with the doctor would add up to $438 per hour. Yikes! If that’s the “fair” price, I hate to imagine…