“Health insurance is the term used to describe the employer-based benefit that pays our medical bills. Health insurance is a misnomer. It should be called medical insurance, because when we are ill or have a disease, we need the services of a physician or other medical provider—such as a surgeon to become healthy.
Medical insurance thus helps pay our bills for the services of a physician, surgeon, or a hospital stay, which can run into the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars,” Dr. Murray Sabrin writes in his new book, The Finance of Healthcare: Wellness and Innovative Approaches to Employee Medical Insurance. “…Why has obtaining medical care become so complicated, expensive, and difficult to navigate? Think about this, every year Americans of all ages, incomes, and education levels buy millions of new and used automobiles without the slightest knowledge of all the intricacies of engines, transmissions, and all the software that make motor vehicles run.
Yet, even without this knowledge, the American people seamlessly purchase hundreds of billions of dollars of motor vehicles annually, because the public can do the research online to obtain expert opinions from Consumer Reports, Edmunds and Kelly Blue Book, to make informed choices.”
It’s this kind of expansive, dynamic look that elevates The Finance of Healthcare above the average book of its kind. It’s considerably dense, but in a manner that never threatens to overwhelm. Sabrin writes in this kind of straightforward, decidedly anti-poetic manner – never sacrificing intellectual and factual integrity for flowery sentence structure and excess proverbial hierarchy. There’s never the sense Dr. Sabrin needs to make the narrative about him, whether intentionally or unintentionally by way of a certain writing style. The result is the ideas being communicated in this clear, concise manner that compliments what Sabrin is advocating for topically. It’s easy to become disenchanted with books of this nature because so many of them fall victim to aforementioned flaws.
Not Sabrin’s, though.
“The simple answer is the lack of transparency in purchasing medical care from physicians and hospitals. And from employees’ perspectives, the reliance on employer-based insurance to get their bills paid makes them relatively ‘immune’ from physicians’ fees—except for co-pays deductibles—and hospital charges such as the $10 aspirin tablets,” he writes in this vein – and regarding the aforementioned dilemma. “Therefore, the way we pay for our medical bills violates a fundamental economic principle, namely, in a market transaction between a willing buyer (in this case a patient) and the supplier (a physician or hospital) transparency makes possible the ability of the buyer to judge the value of the service being rendered or the goods being purchased.
And by focusing on value, the buyer perceives a robust, competitive, and transparent market emerging for goods and services. The good news for both employers and employees is that we are headed in that direction for the ‘consumption’ of medical care. Thus, medical care will be more affordable in the future and give consumers greater choices finally.”