The Fulcrum team is constantly searching for ways to better serve our customers, and our team members frequently travel around the country to learn about new developments in risk management and health care. J.D. Ozmint recently attended a conference on transparency to the health care industry, and we caught up with him to learn more about the topic.
Tell us a little about the conference.
JDO: I recently attended the 4th annual Free Market Medical Association (FMMA) conference in Dallas, Texas. The FMMA is an advocacy group for medical providers and businesses that is working to bring the economics of a free, consumer-focused market to healthcare. It hosts this conference to enable interested parties to learn and share ideas about how we can bring transparency into the healthcare industry. Many great thinkers and physicians spoke at the conference. Of particular note are:
- Ron Paul, MD, former congressman, presidential candidate, and physician,
- Marty Makary, MD., a surgeon and author of Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won’t Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care,
- Robert P. Murphy, PhD, an economist with the Mises Institute,
- Keith Smith, MD, an anesthesiologist with the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, and
- David Cotorno and Jay Kempton, thought leaders in the sphere of employee benefits.
The conference was a great opportunity to engage with others who share a passion for bringing free market principles and transparency to health care.
What key lessons did you take away from the conference?
JDO: Any free market has goods, buyers, and competition. Health care, though, doesn’t operate as a free market. For example, a person in need of a knee replacement cannot simply call the orthopedic hospitals in his area and receive firm prices for that surgery. By refusing to state firm prices for the service, the providers effectively prevent competition for service. Our health care market, then, isn’t a free market, and the mechanisms which drive health care pricing can appear murky to consumers. Once health insurance is added into the mix, the market becomes even less transparent. For many people, health care and health insurance have become virtually synonymous, and that adds tremendous costs for the consumer. This has to change.
How does Fulcrum’s model of service enable you to put the lessons you learned at the conference into action?
JDO: The FMMA and its members are fighting for consumers to be able to make value-based health care decisions. I met with so many providers and businesses with solutions that can empower patients to find value. I am proud to be a member of the FMMA and, as a consultant at Fulcrum, I am eager to help employers create a plan that brings value and transparency to their employees. We work to cut out the middlemen that drive up costs in normal insurance packages, and doing this enables us to provide our clients with comprehensive risk management solutions at very competitive prices.