As most of you know, I’m a tech person by background. So, most of my focus on my blogs is about EMR and other healthcare IT related technology. However, every once in a while I like to point out interesting uses of technology in healthcare.
One example of this was this interesting website called FairCare MD. They call themselves The New Healthcare Marketplace. Essentially if you’re a patient looking for a certain treatment or other healthcare need, you can search for a qualified doctor in your area using their system. As a doctor you can list your services and the prices for your services.
One of the challenges of a service like this is the chicken and the egg problem. You need enough doctors to make the service useful for patients, but doctors don’t want to use the system until there are patients searching the website as well. I’m not exactly sure how they plan to solve it.
Plus, it seems like they need to work on their search algorithm some more too. I searched for Acne Treatment and it returned a bunch of results for Orthodonic Treatment. Not a very good match.
While there technology and database is still in need of work, I find the concept of a healthcare marketplace really intriguing. The idea that I could go online and search for similar healthcare services like I might compare prices for a computer online is interesting. There are definitely differences in how you should search. FairCare MD will also need to really invest in a way to differentiate the good doctors from the bad ones. That’s just much easier said than done.
I also found this blog post they did which addresses what they call a Win-Win-Win-Win Situation for Healthcare. They were appropriately concerned with how their service would be seen by insurance companies since it kind of cuts insurance companies out of the loop. However, he describes some possible benefits to the insurance companies of this approach. I’m not as rosy on a service like this being a nice win for insurance companies, but if this type of service takes off, there’s no doubt that it could have an impact on healthcare and healthcare prices. Isn’t it beautiful what the power of the internet can make possible?
Either way, I love their mission of Fair Healthcare Prices.