by Jordan Roberts
Former Director of Government Affairs, John Locke Foundation
Doctors bidding for patients? That’s the basic function that Medibid’s platform serves to provide. I wrote about this method in a research update back in February. Here is how it works:
Auction-based systems place the patient in control of the purchasing process. Patients get to choose the doctor who will perform the procedure they require. In this type of arrangement, there is downward pressure on physicians and facilities to respond to the market demands of the patients. Instead of a guaranteed procedure through an insurance contract, providers would have to compete with each other to win the business of the patient. Patients are better off when there is more competition between providers to offer the highest quality procedure at the lowest cost.
Medibid is a pioneer in this type of medical purchasing arrangement. Medibid offers a platform for cash-paying customers to have licensed physicians around the world bid to perform procedures needed by patients. There are ratings for the physician and the facility, reviews of previous patients, and a real-time second opinion from another physician. Often, these providers agree to rates that are less than the rates paid by Medicare for the same service.
Since this is not a traditional manner of acquiring a physician to perform a service, some patients may not be as willing to try this method of health care purchasing. However, Medibid has connected thousands of patients with physciains. My colleague Joe Coletti pointed me towards a testimonial from a satisfied patient in Oregon who used Medibid:
Using MediBid for my hernia repair surgery was simple, and I had seven bids within days. My wife and I decided to pursue one that was close to us geographically. We researched the surgeon/surgery center and were pleased with what we learned.
I was surprised to get a personal phone call from the surgeon himself. He answered my questions, and when I called back he took time with me that day, too.
I have recovered perfectly with no pain and difficulty. The surgery center followed up twice, and I’m very satisfied in every way. The surgery cost exactly $4,200, and the national average is $7,500. We are grateful to be part of this wonderful process of sharing each other’s Needs.