Tag Archives: Health Care

High costs of health care

I found this NYT story to be scary and illuminating. God save this country. Frankenstein lives….they are called CPT codes … And CPT consultants and CPT courses and CPT mavens and AMA licensing of CPT (biggest source of revenue).

New York Times Article on High Costs of Health Care

Hospitals have learned to manipulate medical codes — often resulting in mind-boggling bills.

2013 Health Spend Slows

The flattening out of health care costs – at 17% of GDP – is now a five year trend. $9,255 per person!

Kaiser Report

Growth In U.S. Health Spending In 2013 Is Lowest Since 1960

National health spending grew 3.6 percent in 2013, the lowest annual increase since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began tracking the statistic in 1960.
Spending slowed for private health insurance, Medicare, hospitals, physicians and clinical services and out-of-pocket spending by consumers.  However, it accelerated for Medicaid and for prescription drugs, according to the report, published online by the journal Health Affairs.
Health care spending has grown at historically low rates for the past five years.The study found that health care spending rose to $2.9 trillion, or $9,255 per person, in 2013. As a share of gross domestic product, health care remained at 17.4 percent, the same share since 2009, the CMS researchers found.
The 3.6 percent spending growth for 2013 tracks a CMS estimate from September and is 0.5 percentage point lower than 2012.
Medicare spending, which was nearly $586 billion in 2013, rose 6.1%.
Consumer out-of-pocket spending, including co-payments and deductibles or payments for services not covered by a consumer’s health insurance, was $339.4 billion in 2013.
Spending for physician and clinical services was $586.7 billion, up 3.8%.
By the way, 190 million are covered by private health insurance, up .7%


heard on the street …. probably nothing but …..


So what’s interesting in this (possibly ridiculous) speculation….

Reviews of Providers: First, Zagat’s, then Zagats then Angie’s List, and now possibly Amazon? (for Amazon to offer customer reviews of health care providers). My assessment: 20% likely in next three years, 60% in ten. (Recommendations for services would be a very new step for Amazon)

Medical service packages: Amazon might offer services or packages of something that consumers actively shop for, and break the traditional pick-the-closest doctor/hospital mindset that most consumers have gotten used to.My assessment: 20% likely in next three years, 60% in ten.

LABS, VITALS, and IMAGING: These should be commodities. It is not too hard to picture vendors posting their prices and features. My assessment: 30% likely in next three years, 80% in ten.

MAJOR PROCEDURES: open heart surgery or transplants come to mind — those kinds of packages of services would also seem to lend themselves to an Amazonian open competition.My assessment: 10% likely in next three years, 50% in ten.

Amazon has amazing range, but it has its hands very full right now cracking food and beverage through Amazon Fresh (trucks were spotted this week in NYC and they took their LA expansion last year to all of California so they are moving!)

I could see this absorption taking three years, and then on to health care….thee rumblings are just Amazon learning and pre-planning.