Jonathan Bush, cofounder and CEO of athenahealth, calls for a revolution in health care. His solution calls for the medical world to give customers more choices, freedom, power, and information, and at far lower prices. Bush calls for disruption of the status quo through new business models, new payment models, and new technologies that give patients more control of their care and enhance the physician-patient experience. For entrepreneurs, his suggestion is to take one niche of the medical practice- like medical waste disposal- and create a service to take over that need. This will open the market to healthy competition and will lower prices. Other niches that he discusses include various testing sites, wellness visits which can be done by registered nurses, and birthing centers.The idea is to allow the Doctors to practice what they do best-medicine- by delegating other aspects of keeping practices and hospitals afloat to other staff and leaving the Doctor to specialize in his chosen area. Also, he suggests cross-referencing across state lines. Currently, each insurance only covers Doctors in its own locality. If Doctors could receive patients from all over the US, they would get more practice within their niche and probably treat patients more efficiently, cutting the cost of a lot of unnecessary tests and treatments.
This quote is a good summary of his vision for the future of healthcare in America:
“We need shopping, I believe, not only to fix health care, but also- and I know this may sound strange- to express our own humanity. Think about it. We shop for clothes to express our tastes and personality. We do the same for music and food. Some of us trick out our cars, put them on megawheels, or hang big, fuzzy dice from the mirror. We express who we are with these choices. And yet for the care of our bodies, for some of the most important decisions we make in life, we rely on a handful of menu options and lists drawn up by bureaucrats. What I want is for people to have a dizzying array of options in health care, so they can care for themselves and their loved ones in a way that suits them best, that makes them best, that makes them happy and proud. Some of the choices will be simple, of course, others delightfully convoluted. But in my vision, each of us will fashion the health care we want and deserve. We’ll express ourselves.”
We are proud to compete in the medical waste disposal market, working to allow medical practices to choose the company that best fits their needs and especially their budget. Hopefully this frees up some of the overhead and maybe- just maybe-(in the long run) helps the consumers/patients receive better medical service that fits their needs, and especially their budget.
*”Where Does It Hurt?” by Jonathan Bush. An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Fixing Health Care in America.
Bush’s team created a software program that eventually became athenahealth, a cloud-based services company that handles electronic medical records, billing, and patient communications for more than fifty thousand medical providers nationwide.