I sure hope so. At the EBN Conference in Chicago I had the pleasure of seeing Simeon Schindelman from Bloom Health and John Naylor from Medica talk about their experience in the Twin Cities. During the Q&A period, they were asked whether the private exchange offering from Medica resulted in a change in market share for both Medica and for the ACOs that are participating in their narrow network products.
Apparently, market share is starting to shift in the Twin Cities. And while health-care data can be slow in terms of reporting – making it difficult to verify market share shifts in the Twin Cities – I think we are finally beginning to see the real impact of “consumerism in health care.”
Having been at this for more than a few years – first with comparative quality and cost information for consumers and now private market places for consumers – we thought that if increased transparency and choice really made a difference, it would start to be reflected in market share numbers. In other words, people would realize that they did not have to pay a premium to go to a provider for a service done in high volumes and with little risk (e.g., knee arthroscopy).
The transparency continues with a recent article Tom Emerick uncovered: The Mayo Clinic Proceedings published recent research suggesting that a significant percentage of medical procedures used today offer no benefit to patients.
As Tom pointed out, avoiding these procedures could potentially result in tens of millions of savings. We’ve seen the same type of research about medications.
Transparency and choice are standard attributes of the American shopping experience. As findings from the Mayo study (and others like them) make their way to consumers (in easy-to-understand language), and as people are able to select personalized benefits, the retail experience in health care will increasingly resemble the retail experience savvy American shoppers have come to expect and enjoy in other facets of their lives. And the consequences? Market share shifts and maybe even costs will come down.