The United States healthcare system is often touted by some as being the best in the world. While it is true that the United States leads the pack in certain specialties, like the treatment of childhood cancers and the transplantation of organs, the idea that the United States delivers world-class healthcare to the majority of its citizens is, unfortunately, not as true as it once was.
Today, the United States spends on healthcare over two and a half times what the second-highest-spending country in the world does. And most developed countries spend just tiny fractions of the overall per-capita expenditures laid out by the American populace on healthcare.
This is bad news for the richest country in history, which has long prided itself on its ability to apply market solutions to just about any endeavor. While there are many explanations as to why healthcare costs in the United States, in real-dollar terms, have increased by more than five times since the 1970s, one man, Drew Madden, has a concrete idea of what we might be able to do to start lowering those costs.
Having spent nearly 20 years in the healthcare industry, few people have as much expertise as Drew Madden when it comes to analyzing the American healthcare system. Madden believes that one of the best things that we can start doing to lower the outrageous costs of healthcare is to empower patients to make more informed decisions. This can be done, says Madden, through a combination of more transparent pricing and the creation of platforms that make it easy for patients to compare healthcare services and products.
Madden recently founded his own healthcare consulting firm, Evergreen Healthcare Partners, precisely in order to address this issue. He says that his firm is working on development of the tools that will someday soon help patients to discern between the services and products that they are being offered. Madden says that patients will soon be able to make apples-to-apples comparisons of things like surgeries and insurance policies with the same ease that they can look up reviews of local restaurants.