The next decade will be about bringing down the costs of health care in the U.S., says venture capitalist and blogger Todd Hixon, in a recent Forbes article titled “The Health Insurance Company Is Your Friend.” The biggest drivers of healthcare spending in the U.S. are the over-utilization of advanced medical care and the high earnings of the providers of that care, he says.
It’s payers versus providers, and health insurers are in the payers’ corner.
Hixon shares one of his own healthcare experiences in which “the insurance company paid about 30% of the face value of the bill, due to a combination of lower negotiated prices and striking off major billing errors and duplications.”
The takeaway for insurers is that finding the right network providers is more important than ever. Insurance companies can help keep healthcare costs down by shifting away the high-end risk as well as building provider networks with good value for the cost, Hixon says in his follow-up article. Look for providers who offer good discounts, have a good utilization track record, and who participate with other networks so they know what’s expected.
This is the right dynamic: how the insurance company becomes a better friend.