Med student: Netflix an ill model for good healthcare

Wednesday, September 19, 2018
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

stethoscope and laptopIs ObamaCare making the U.S. healthcare system run like Netflix? A med school student thinks so.

In a new article for The Federalist, Adam Barsouk argues that healthcare in America today is much like Netflix, which aims to house all of an individual's entertainment needs under one umbrella. "Gone are the days when you should pay five bucks to rent the movie you want on iTunes (known as 'fee-for-service' in healthcare)," he writes.

Meanwhile, he continues, Netflix "provides a veneer of 'all the movies you could want' for a flat, monthly rate (i.e., capitated reimbursement in healthcare)" – and tries not to purchase movies from other providers, like iTunes, instead coming out with its own products "just like a healthcare system provides all of its own care instead of referring to experts outside the network."

"They're getting a flat rate, so they make money if they provide you with less service as opposed to more," Barsouk explains to OneNewsNow. "And that's the problem."

It's one thing to talk about the problems. It's another thing to fix it. So what does Barsouk recommend?

"Single-payer is kind of like the idea with Netflix; same with ObamaCare, because ObamaCare is trying to move us in the direction of single-payer, the idea that we're going to give a hospital or a physician group a certain lump sum and they can do with it whatever they please – and their goal is to provide you with the least service as possible," he answers.

"The U.S. healthcare system has been the best in the world, and that's because we practiced the iTunes model, the 'fee-for-service' model, where you go to a doctor and the more that they give you, the more that they receive; so they're incentivized to try to make your care as good as possible and provide you with all the services that you need."

Barsouk acknowledges that sometimes doctors might give a patient too much.

"There have also been abuses of the system, but all in all, you'd rather go too far in that direction and receive too much care and not receive the care at all like you're seeing in Europe and Canada, anywhere that has true single-payer," he continues. "So I would recommend more free market, more incentivizing for physicians to actually do their job, as opposed to not do their job."

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