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Less bureaucracy, lower costs: Imagine that

The world of health care finance is one giant Rube Goldberg machine, with any number of third parties involved. Through Medicare, the U.S. government is the dominant player in setting prices for thousands of medical treatments. Corporate plans and private insurance companies add themselves into the mix, and of course the Affordable Care Care (ObamaCare) adds even more moving parts.

But there’s a small movement toward stripping away the various bureaucracies, private and public, that interject themselves into health care. For example, some physicians eschew insurance, and go on a cash-only basis. They say it lets them cut costs — no need to staff up with people whose job it is to wrangle with insurance companies. They also say it also lets them have a profitable practice with a lower volume of patients, which means more time for patients. (Cynically, you could also say it leaves more time for playing golf.)

This movement has been going on for a while, and the New York Times has published one of the latest examinations of this in the popular press: Doctors shun cash.