Medicare’s Data Release Places More Power in Hands of Informed Medical Consumers

May 9, 2013
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medicare data releaseYesterday, Medicare released data on in-patient hospital costs across the country to provide consumers/patients with cost comparison information.

medicare data releaseYesterday, Medicare released data on in-patient hospital costs across the country to provide consumers/patients with cost comparison information. Unsurprisingly, the data are interesting and price discrepancies staggering, but the release of the data itself is also fascinating as yet another example of big government opening its vaults, so to speak, as well as adding more momentum to the power shift in healthcare from physicians/providers toward consumers/patients.

This move clearly speaks to the idea that access to information can drive behavior/decision making and that access to cost information can harness the power of the medical consumer to drive costs down.

The team at Popper and Company has focused, since the firm’s inception ten years ago, on technologies and services that improve quality and decrease cost in healthcare. We believe that three big trends at play today clearly support this:

  1. “Consumerification” – the rise of the power of the consumer
  2. Access to information
  3. The convergence of technology from other industry segments (e.g., Telecom)

As I asked in an earlier post, is the U.S. consumer ready for so much service choice (or, in this case, so much information)? Where does the responsibility for consumer education fall? Leave your comments below.

(image: Medicare data / shutterstock)