It’s no secret that the United States has one of the most expensive healthcare systems in the world and routinely delivers some of the poorest healthcare outcomes of any system seen in an advanced nations. While there are countries in Europe that still pay a substantial fraction of the healthcare costs of the American system, with many having costs relative of America’s of around the 30- to 40-percent range, those countries also typically have far higher-rated systems than what Americans experience. This is a grave problem for Americans who must foot the bill for such an underperforming healthcare system.
Drew Madden is one of the foremost experts in the healthcare IT space today. As the founder and CEO of Evergreen Healthcare Partners, Madden helps doctors, administrators and hospital networks every day with integrating technology into their practices. Madden believes that one of the most serious problems ailing the U.S. healthcare system today is a lack of competitiveness in the healthcare market. While the reasons for this are numerous, Madden says that it mostly boils down to one simple factor: Patients are not able to make informed decisions about their own healthcare.
Madden says that this problem is at least partially intentional. He believes that healthcare companies and insurance firms have no interest in creating a genuinely well-informed public. And the results are often disastrous to those seeking healthcare. As one example, Madden cites a procedure in one town that cost $30,000 to carry out. At a different hospital that was located just a few miles away, that same procedure cost over $70,000. Madden says that situations like this are distressingly common. And the only real explanation for such woeful inefficiencies in the healthcare market is that the patients themselves are completely uninformed about the true nature of the treatments they are receiving and the associated costs.
Madden seeks to create systems and platforms that will enable patients to make well-informed decisions about their own healthcare and to help to bring some real competitiveness to the U.S. healthcare industry. He says that doing so may be one of the biggest steps that the nation can take towards finally beginning to reduce costs.