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The Start-Ups That Will Save Health Care

Start-ups are the key to American economy, and they’re the key to American health care as well. Wired profiles several new start-up companies that could help dramatically improve service delivery and price transparency. There’s HealthTap, that is trying to bring back “the village doctor” and “house calls” by digital consultations. Castlight Health offers price comparison services. The piece also mentions several new preventive and diagnostic tools. There’s a common thread running through all these developments:

“The fundamental change has to happen on the supply side,” says Jonathan Gruber, an MIT economist, former adviser to Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, and director of the health care program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. “There’s a broad transformation within health care that can happen—not where a startup becomes Apple, but where startups work with big health care institutions and providers to transform how they deliver care.”

Transformation in service delivery is one of the main keys to true health care reform, and thanks to start-ups mentioned in this profile, we’re closer than ever to making that a reality.

But it’s not all about the tech. Good policy can help encourage, implement, and supplement private-sector innovation. The recent price transparency law passed in North Carolina is a great example of tech and law working hand-in-hand. It’s not an either-or proposition; we need both.

[Hospital technology image courtesy of Shutterstock]

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  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    “The recent price transparency law passed in North Carolina is a great example of tech and law working hand-in-hand.”

    Price transparency is meaningless if the consumer isn’t price sensitive. If all the consumer pays is a co-pay, no matter what the price of the service, then they will all demand the most service they can get regardless of the price, because it’s all the same price to them. In socialist systems, demand is always infinite, and supply is always insufficient. This results in queues, extended wait times, an end to research, development, and maintenance, as all economic effort is diverted to supply. This is why the Communist Soviet Union, Warsaw Pact countries, and China all failed.

    There is only one economic Law “The Law of Supply and Demand” ignore it at your peril.

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