The “consumerization” of healthcare continues with the advent of a relatively new concept – prepaid healthcare! A company called – MDsave – is making headlines with their prepaid voucher concept for healthcare, which strongly resembles travel sites like Orbitz, Kayak, Expedia, and Travelocity.
See – https://www.mdsave.com/
Founded in 2014, and recently making its way to my adopted hometown of Omaha, NE, MDsave is focused primarily on meeting the needs of three (3) disparate healthcare market segments:
The technology behind MDsave allows consumers to view available healthcare services in their vicinity (e.g., MRI, colonoscopy, mammogram, blood test, etc.), compare prices, and purchase vouchers which cover the entire, bundled cost of the particular service/procedure. For example, a complex procedure such as a bariatric bypass would involve services and fees for the physician consult, psychiatric evaluation, hospital/facility charge, lab fees, and anesthesia. A voucher purchased for this procedure would cover all of the associated charges in one bundle.
Here’s what you can expect to see when using MDsave to shop for an MRI in Omaha, NE…
Healthcare providers can afford to discount services offered through MDsave because of the elimination of administrative costs associated with billing and collection. And of course, the competition in markets for healthcare consumers leads to downward pricing pressure. The vouchers don’t expire within a set timeframe, so if a consumer doesn’t use their voucher, the value of the purchased voucher is returned to their account for future use.
As of the time of this writing, MDsave has agreements with 202 hospitals in 29 states; and partners with eight of the ten largest healthcare systems in the U.S. I would expect MDsave to grow exponentially as health care/insurance stakeholders continue to seek ways to reduce costs and improve the patient experience.
(Note:In Omaha, NE, only one of our three healthcare systems – CHI Health – currently participates with MDsave.)