Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cut Your Health Care Costs Now!

Cut Your Health Care Costs Now! is a new book by Brandi Funk, FNP-C that I just had the opportunity to review.

Brandi Funk is a board certified family nurse practitioner and health care advocate. With 15 years of experience helping patients, she as a lot to offer in her book.

Her book begins with suggestions for buying health insurance. Most importantly are the check lists to make sure your coverage will actually cover you.

She next shares useful tips on using your insurance. The book has lots of tips for traditional insurance and also for using Medicare. While many readers may have traditional insurance, they may also be helping their parents with issues involving Medicare.

Healthcare Blue Book
is focused on helping patients get quality care at affordable prices. Cut Your Health Care Costs Now! offers many suggestions to patients on how to save on health care expenses and prescription drugs. Of course, one of my favorite tips in the book is "Negotiate Your Price First". As we see every day, once a patient gets care; it is very difficult to lower the final bill. However, patients can save $100's or even $1000's if they know to ask about prices first. Often they improve the quality of their care too.

Cut Your Health Care Costs Now! has many other tips for consumers. It is well worth your time and I imagine that most consumers will save a lot more than the book costs. A book that pays for itself, how can you beat that?

The book is provided as an e-book. One neat thing about the e-book format is the fact that you can directly link to valuable resources provided in the book. Ms. Funk has excellent reference sources, lists, and content links throughout the book.

You can find the book here.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The People's Health Care Reform Plan

I just received an article by Dr. Bradley Hennenfent: The People's Health care Reform Plan.

The Plan starts off like this:


Let's be part of the Health Care Reform solution. Let's distribute a plan that empowers patients, doctors, and nurses, which everyone can understand. The People's Health Care Reform Plan will make PATIENTS MORE POWERFUL, and the Government, corporations, and insurance companies (crony capitalism) less powerful. This plan will reduce costs, increase access, and save the most lives. It's also simple.


1. Tell us patients what everything costs - no more secrets.
2. Give doctors, nurses, and allied health care professionals social networking so they can tell us everything they know.
3. Tort Reform.
4. Distribute The People's Health Care Reform Plan to everyone in America and around the World via Facebook, E-mail, etc.


Congress must facilitate that patients be told the price of everything in health care in advance, except in true emergencies, or they do not have to pay.

Patients cannot spend money from Medicare, Medicaid, Insurance Companies, Unions, or their own money, wisely if they do not know what anything costs. It's these hidden prices that cause monopolies that drive up our prices and result in unsavory backroom political deals. It's not knowing the price of anything that enables Medicare, Medicaid, and corporate fraud to occur so easily. How can we know if we are overcharged if we never know what anything costs in the first place? How can we revolutionize health care if we don't know what costs too much? We need to know the prices.


The plan goes on to include aspects of getting more information to patients via technology and clinician input; tort reform; putting more power with patients and direct care providers; and finally a plan to get the plan out.

You can read the entire plan at Dr. Hennenfent's FaceBook.

It is easy to support pricing transparency and some of the other concepts in the plan. Healthcare Blue Book provides nice technology that helps patients with comparison pricing.

So what do you think about the Dr. Hennenfent's plan?

The bigger question to me, is why is it left to individuals to promote common sense solutions that would actually help reform the health system?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Marathon Health and Join Forces to Help Employers Reduce Healthcare Costs

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--Marathon Health and today announced a co-marketing agreement to bring new consumer education and healthcare price transparency tools to employers with consumer directed health plans (CDHP) or high deductible health plans (HDHP).

The joint offering extends Marathon Health’s onsite clinic capabilities by helping employees with significant out of pocket expenses make informed, cost conscious decisions on treatment. Both onsite clinicians and employees will have access to the Healthcare Blue Book’s education and healthcare price transparency tool. Marathon Health clinic patients can access the Blue Book tool directly from the Marathon eHealth Portal, or work with their onsite clinician to consider treatment options, understand out of pocket costs, and make smarter, more affordable treatment choices when seeking care outside the clinic setting.

“Price shopping for healthcare services can be time consuming and frustrating,” said Marathon Health CEO Jerry Ford. “Our co-marketing agreement with Healthcare Blue Book will help us provide a virtual ‘safety net’ for the employees with high deductible plans who require greater access to cost and care details. This addition to our technology platform will ensure our patients have the information they need when making care decisions.”

The relationship enhances Marathon Health’s value proposition for employers who offer CDHPs by bringing timely consumer decision support to the point of care. The joint offering fills a recognized gap in employers’ consumer tool set, and helps both employee and employer save money through better use of their existing provider options.

“Marathon Health and are innovative companies creating new models for delivering high-quality healthcare at a fair price,” said CEO, Dr. Jeffrey Rice. “Joining forces will help us create systems that can benefit employers and employees through improved access to high-quality, cost-effective care.”

About Marathon Health
Marathon Health of Colchester, VT, offers a proven solution for helping employers reduce the total cost of healthcare. The Marathon Health approach integrates the best practices of onsite primary care, health assessment with risk identification, coaching and advocacy, and disease management for high cost chronic conditions. Marathon Health supports its unique model with an eHealth Portal delivering medical content, interactive diet and fitness tools, a personal health record, and an electronic medical record to manage care.

About the Healthcare Blue Book, headquartered in Nashville, TN, is a healthcare pricing tool that helps consumers and companies determine what fair prices are for healthcare services and treatments in their markets. The web site can be customized to employer needs by offering information that allows employees to identify lower cost and high quality providers within their existing employer-sponsored health plan.