My favorite topics – diamonds and healthcare.  I always have a way of bringing things together….

Have you ever been diamond shopping?  It’s all about the four C’s – clarity, cut, carat and cost.  But tell me, how can I go into any high end jewelry store and be quoted a price of $200,000 for a 4 carat, pretty blemish free stone and then go to the jewelry market downtown and a verrry close match is half that price or less?  What am I not getting with the $100,000 sparkly rock that the $250,000 gem would bring me so more joy? What am I missing?

The same sort of holds true for healthcare pricing.  How can medical care – when boiled down should be competent staff treating sick people to the best of their ability, be so wildly priced?   Why does one hospital charge 700% above retail when a neighboring hospital billed costs are within 80% of what the hospitals around them charge?  Is the food that much better at hospital A?  Do they have more TV channels to surf around when I’m just lying there waiting for someone to prod me?  Is the healthcare really that much better?  What am I missing?

As A Consultant And A Consumer, I Believe The Days Are Long Behind Us That Keeps All Of That Cost A Mystery. The Cost Of Services Has Gotten Too High Without A Real Explanation For Why.​

In healthcare, like jewelry, “branding” has occurred. Some healthcare groups are regarded more highly than others. But why? Some really good marketing? A published research team?

Rarely do we find ourselves asking questions like – how many people get re-admitted after surgery?  What’s the hospital infection rate?  How many have died in surgery? (That’s my personal favorite).  We are told we need a procedure and we are like robots – just doing what we are told without asking the same questions we would at a Chinese restaurant about tonight’s special.  What am I missing?

What I am missing is that marketing and perception surrounds everything.  You need to not be so wowed by the “blue box with the ribbon” or the “red box with the gold writing” and start asking questions.  It’s a matter of life and death – just like the nightly special at the Chinese restaurant.  However in this case, it’s real.  Cost transparency will be the end of the current model and the beginning of the new one.

With the price of what health procedures cost today, my vote would be that with any surgery, comes a sparkling diamond  – at least!  A girl can dream.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *