‘Benevolent geniuses’ are working to lower health costs: The Billfold

Screen shot 2015-12-06 at 7.14.58 PM

Summary: We are really humbled to be written about this way, as we were in The Billfold on Dec. 4. “This Cost Conversations in Healthcare conference I was invited to address, put on by dedicated people from the ABIM Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson, and Costs of Care, has been fascinating,” Ester Bloom writes on The Billfold. “Just being in the room where it happens, the room filled with smart people who are bent on making it happen, was worth coming down to Philly for. It turns out medical professionals and other smart folks with resources really are trying to shift the status quo. They’re even making progress. … Check this out, for example. The University of Chicago’s Dr. Arora has been distributing these cards to doctors …. The cards keep practitioners aware that cost is a huge concern to many patients. … There are very often affordable alternatives to brand-name drugs, and something as simple as a laminated reminder can help a doctor make sure that her patient actually ends up filling a prescription — and then getting better. A lot of doctors have a hard time even mentioning money. … That’s understandable, considering how most of us can find the subject so thorny as to be unapproachable. But it’s even more important than it is thorny, as Jeanne Pinder of ClearHealthCosts puts it, “in the era of $1,000-a-day medications and sky-high deductibles, when doctors’ recommendations are increasingly rejected by insurers and patients are left holding the bag.” Clear Health Costs is another innovation I was able to see demoed. Acting on one of those ideas that’s so good it seems obvious in retrospect, it crowd-sources information from patients so that prospective patients can see the immense variability in price for the same procedure.” Ester Bloom, “Lowering Health Care Costs: Some Benevolent Geniuses Are On It,” The Billfold.