Mike Botta, PhD, co-founder of Sesame on David Goldhill's recent Washington Post Op-Ed
My colleague and co-founder David Goldhill today has a new Washington Post article that explains the fundamental challenge in American health care: America subsidizes most of the health care innovation in the world - but overspends and creates no incentives for clinicians in America to innovate on price.
As David notes, "what’s needed is a way to separate the safety-net function that insurance provides from consumer decision-making. If insurance covered only major and unanticipated health problems, a consumer economy could drive competition in the rest of the system. This would give doctors and hospitals an economic incentive to bundle services, enhance efficiency, reduce waste and offer genuinely “value-driven” care.”
At Sesame, that’s our entire reason for being. Millions of Americans have health insurance that looks quite a bit like what David describes -- for the 32+ million Americans in high deductible insurance plans, their insurance only serves to cover major, unexpected issues. And for the millions lacking comprehensive coverage, the same is true. Most health care is paid for, essentially, out of pocket.
If you have a high deductible health plan, you may believe that your insurance offers you the most savings on care, regardless of which doctor you see. This isn’t true! Every American in a high deductible plan stands to save money by paying directly -- there are lower prices available from doctors of all kinds, everywhere in America. Sesame makes it easy to find them.
Sesame’s health care marketplace, we believe, is the way to give patients genuine control over their care. Sesame is the only place that makes it easy to compare providers and save money -- locking in low, up-front prices that eliminate the possibility of surprise medical bills. By creating Sesame, and by helping over a quarter-million Americans to-date save money on health care, we’re also creating exactly the economic incentive David describes. Sesame is where doctors have the incentive to offer genuinely “value-driven” care.
We can’t fix American healthcare overnight. But: for the millions of Americans who care how much their health care costs, and the hundreds of thousands of doctors and nurses who care about providing great, affordable care, Sesame is their health home. Patients use the same consumer tools that make every other industry deliver quality AND price improvements, and providers respond to incentives with great, affordable care.
If you’re one of those Americans looking for something truly disruptive -- great, affordable care -- try Sesame.