“Everything which might cause doubt about the wisdom of the government or create discontent will be kept from the people. The basis of unfavorable comparisons with elsewhere, the knowledge of possible alternatives to the course actually taken, information which might suggest failure on the part of the government to live up to its promises or to take advantage of opportunities to improve conditions—all will be suppressed. There is consequently no field where the systematic control of information will not be practiced and uniformity of views not enforced.” ~Friedrich Hayek, The Road to Serfdom
Cost cutting behaviors are not limited to the doctor. Patients also have incentive to cut costs when shown the prices, as opposed to the current insurance model that insulates the patient from the cost.
I showed my friend a surgery center’s website with posted prices. He asked why posting prices helped control them. I said, “I actually don’t know, but I need to figure that out.” That event set in motion a positive feedback mechanism of curiosity about the nature of free markets, especially in terms of their benefits to healthcare delivery. I now understand the economic principles that are fundamental to optimum outcomes.
When people speak of courses required for aspiring doctors, they often use the term “weed out class.” This term is normally thrown around with casual indifference because of the conventional assumption that there are people that need to be “weeded out” (by class performance). It’s important not to use that term indifferently, but rather question the many aspects of the distorted healthcare market that have been woven into our “new normal” in medicine.
“Many factors contribute to the impending doctor shortage. One is price. Cost sensitivity is being driven away as a result of the belief that since healthcare is priceless, it must be provided without a price.” ~Zach Howell, University of Delaware pre-med