Thursday, March 7, 2024

Healthcare Consumerism Is Backfiring on the Traditional Healthcare System

For years healthcare consumerism has been a buzz word used by CEOs and PR teams employed at huge health insurance companies and healthcare systems. In fact, back in the day when I worked at Cigna it was a thing. The year they aggressively promoted their high deductible health plans (HDHPs) internally to their own employees the spin was that HDHPs help lower premiums and incentivize consumers to take control of their healthcare spending. And it never fails at the beginning of every year some healthcare executive “insider” tirelessly uses the term in a quote as part of the coming year’s healthcare predictions as if it is some game changing prediction.

The term "healthcare consumerism" first gained prominence in the 1970s and 1980s as healthcare costs began to rise significantly in the US. It was initially coined by academics and healthcare professionals to emphasize the idea of patients taking a more active role in their healthcare decisions, akin to consumers in other industries. Over time, healthcare consumerism has evolved to encompass a broader concept beyond just cost-conscious decision-making, emphasizing patient empowerment, choice, and engagement with healthcare providers. Today, it reflects a shift towards a more patient-centered approach, with individuals increasingly involved in choosing their healthcare providers, treatment options, and participating in shared decision-making processes.

Regardless of its ever evolving meaning, at its core it suggests you and I should spend as much time or more shopping for our healthcare services the way we would for a car or the latest OLED tv. The problem until recently though is that even if we wanted to shop for our healthcare we couldn’t, because the traditional healthcare system is set up in a way that intentionally prevents that from happening. But with the emergence of the new parallel healthcare economy consumers being able to shop for their healthcare is finally a 2024 prediction that’s comes true, which is leaving me wondering why it did not make Nostradamus’ list.

Humor aside, in 2024 you can literally cut your healthcare costs in half in a variety of ways. If you are an employer, you can switch to a performance health plan. Performance health plans are designed by brokers who work for you instead of brokers who work for and get paid by insurance companies. The brokers who design these performance plans are mostly trained by an organization called Health Rosetta. Dave Chase, author of “The CEO’s Guide to Restoring the American Dream,” along with several like-minded healthcare professionals created Health Rosetta, which architects a blueprint for employers to provide better care for their employees at much lower costs than traditional employer plans. Founded in 2015, Health Rosetta boasts 250 accredited advisors, who are all certified experts in designing performance health plans that are currently stewarding 5 million lives.

Another way you can cut your health insurance cost in half is by ditching major medical and using supplemental insurance as your primary coverage. In recent years supplemental insurance carriers have added everyday health benefits to what they call ‘Enhanced Health Indemnity Plans’. These plans offer everything from prescription coverage to regular doctor visits, to medical imaging along with their original coverage design for more serious events such as heart attacks, cancer or strokes. Brokers nationwide are bundling these enhanced indemnity plans with accident and critical illness plans at half the cost of major medical.

But undoubtedly the most powerful way to take control of and reduce your healthcare costs is by purchasing a monthly membership from your local direct primary care doctor. There are over 3500 physicians in 2500 direct primary care (DPC) practices nationwide providing basic day to day healthcare services to over 1 million Americans. These monthly memberships are age-banded and range from $40 to $85 per person, per month or $150 per family. People can now see their family doctor without all the insurance hassles for a low monthly rate. These DPC memberships also typically do not charge copays or deductibles.

And finally, my most favorite way of all that consumers are reducing their healthcare costs is through the use of concierge patient advocates. For years insurance companies and hospitals have employed medical billing experts who would help them bill and collect predatory fees from their patients. But now those billing experts are crossing over into the new healthcare economy and working directly for patients helping them save money. These traditional system traitors known as concierge patient advocates are now using their superpowers for good. They know where to shop to find transparent prices and how to negotiate needed services based on fair market rates on behalf of the customer.

So to wrap where I started with this whole thing, the concept of healthcare consumerism has undergone significant evolution since its inception in the 1970s. And although it’s historically been used as rhetoric, it’s now a new reality that is backfiring on the traditional healthcare system as consumers shop elsewhere for their healthcare.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

He Could Do No Miracles Among Them

Whether or not you believe in God or the bible, I think a lot of people would agree there are tremendous life lessons that can be gleaned from it. In particular, there’s a story where it reads “And because of their unbelief, he (Jesus) couldn’t do any miracles among them…”.  Without going into the details of the entire story, one of the main headlines I got from it was this. Faith is built into the design of humanity.

Think about it. As a kid, when you learned to ride a bike, you first had to believe you could do it. When you tried out for that sport you had to first believe you could make the team. When you decided to go to law school or medical school you had to believe you could become an attorney or physician. When you started your business you had to believe you could be an entrepreneur. When you applied for that job you had to believe you could get hired. Faith is always on display by the actions we take.

But the problem is, we occasionally put our faith in the wrong people or the wrong things that end up disappointing or even hurting us. As this happens repeatedly, we can become jaded, sometimes even to a point of apathy where we just begin to accept things for how they are because we don’t believe they can be any different or better. I believe that’s where most people are at with the American healthcare system.

People are so jaded, so beat down, and so brainwashed believing they have to accept the healthcare system the way it is because the government and corporate controlled media makes them believe that. But that is emphatically 1000% a false belief. This nation was built on the belief in freedom. But somewhere along the way the masses were lulled to sleep through empty promises, deception, comfort, manipulation and outright coercion.

Fortunately though, not everyone has lost that faith and belief in freedom. I’m taking my precious time today to let whoever will believe, know, that in a random but collective effort, thousands of passionate men and women have created and are literally running a verifiable parallel healthcare economy called Devolution Healthcare. This economy you’ve never heard of is backed by companies and venture funds with market caps in the billions. And Devolution Healthcare is not even new. Maybe the identification and naming of it is new, but it’s been in existence for years serving and providing care for tens of millions of consumers, who are spending billions of dollars for high quality, affordable healthcare outside of the current predatory system.

If you are reading this right now, then you likely know that I co-own a company called Revolt Healthcare Alliance and you likely believe that I am only trying to sell our products and services to you. That is also a false belief. We have more clients than we can handle and are trying to figure out how to scale in a way that we don’t compromise the spirit of excellence in which we operate.

The truth is, I don’t care if you buy products or services from us. What I want is for you to realize that through a spirit of freedom, courage, and faith, and because of innovation and technology, there is a way for you and your family to save thousands of dollars every year so you can better use that money for your family’s benefit instead of giving it to a CEO who makes $30M per year. My executive leadership team thought I was absolutely insane when I told them we were going to start marketing and promoting products, services and business models other than our own. But eventually they came to understand that the Devolution Healthcare economy is massive and that it’s to our benefit to promote all these other companies.

So here is a gift from us to you. Devolution Healthcare. You can download it and you will not be put on an email list. Read it. Even if it’s not with our company, try one of the other products, services or business models. Worse case scenario you can always go back to paying for the same health insurance you have now, even though you can’t even really use it.

The entrepreneurs, physicians, pharmacies, brokers and technology companies operating in the Devolution Healthcare economy have found a way to put the care back into healthcare. We hope you will find the faith to believe in it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Being Woke Is Not Enough

Black Americans in their ongoing fight against racism and social injustice have used the term “woke” throughout key moments of history. First used in the 1940s, the term “woke” has resurfaced in recent years as a concept that symbolizes awareness of social issues and movements against injustice, inequality, and prejudice.

One Urban Dictionary contributor defines woke as “being aware of the truth behind things ‘the man’ doesn’t want you to know”. Years after the term was created, on June 14, 1965, at Oberlin College Martin Luther King Jr, gave a commencement address called Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution:

There is nothing more tragic than to sleep through a revolution […] The wind of change is blowing, and we see in our day and our age a significant development […] The great challenge facing every individual graduating today is to remain awake through this social revolution.”

As I observe today’s culture/society there’s no shortage of social injustices all around us that we are being awakened to. But whether it’s the continuing cause of fighting racism or other social, political, or cultural issues just being aware of them is not enough.

For me, I’m woke to and keenly disturbed by the injustices that I see in the US healthcare system. In just one of many examples I can provide, approximately 3,900 US hospitals have a “nonprofit” status that allows them to avoid paying taxes. These “nonprofit” hospitals with tax exempt status are supposed to be using those tax dollars to lower healthcare costs and provide free care for those who can’t otherwise afford it. But we are all woke to the fact this is not what is happening.

In Marni Jameson Carey’s Medical Economics Review article published in January of 2020 she does a nice job of exposing by way of examples the ludicrous misappropriation of “non-profit” hospital revenues. To highlight just one of particular egregiousness, you have Atrium Health System, in Charlotte, NC, holding $52 million dollars in an offshore account in the Cayman Islands. They actually disclosed it on their 2017 990 tax form.

With more than 50% of US bankruptcies being due to medical bills I can’t help but wonder how many of the 2,825 bankruptcies in North Carolina in 2021 were because of medical debt that could have been alleviated by Atrium’s hidden surplus of $52M.

And it’s not just the non-profit hospitals, the BUCAH carriers are culpable too. Blue Cross, United, Cigna, Aetna, Humana are all lobbying for the continuance of a system rife with injustice. Blue Cross Blue Shield alone spent $25M on K-street last year and I guarantee the lobbying that was done in Washington was not for your financial or health benefits.

I could go on with example after example of the financial injustices in the healthcare system but I really don’t have to. If you’re reading this blog right now you yourself, or a family member, friend or co-worker who you know have all at one time or another been taken advantage of by the government regulated policies of hospitals and insurance companies that have caused you financial duress.

But as I stated with the title of this blog, just being woke to this non-sense is not enough. These laws, policies and injustices are all predicated on the idea that you’re too dumb or lazy to do anything about it. But I personally don’t believe that. I believe that a healthcare revolution is brewing. I see it and I can feel it. Whether you’re one of the 3,000 Revolt Healthcare clients who have spent $10M over the last 32 months on a health indemnity plan or whether you’re a savvy physician who is adopting the direct primary care model you are apart of a revolution to take back control of our country from a corrupt and literal healthcare cartel that is colluding against you.

Open enrollment is only a few months away. Being woke is not enough…do something different with your money this year. Your money is the only thing enabling them to continue the injustice.


Tuesday, March 15, 2022

I Will Boast In My Weakness

In the Christian faith there’s a belief that when you humble yourself and admit your weaknesses you can gather the super natural strength from God that you need to overcome those weaknesses. I personally believe this principle to be true based on seeing it play out in multiple facets of life over the span of my first 48 years on this planet.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Lessons from Superbowl LVI

I have to be honest in that I don’t watch as much football as I used to due to the NFL taking stances on political issues these days. I also question the integrity of the sport due to the officiating in so many games where the best team doesn’t always win because of blatantly blown calls. But I remind myself it’s a national pastime rich with history and that the NFL has given me some cherished memories of a lifetime that I’ve been able to share with family and friends. That said I really enjoyed Superbowl LVI and here are some insights that I took away from it that I think transcend the sport itself.

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Two Year Anniversary

Revolt Healthcare Alliance turned two yesterday. As I stop to think about what we’ve accomplished and how we accomplished it I realize we’ve had quite an adventure in such a short period of time.

Who knew when we opened our doors on Feb 1st 2020 that a global “pandemic” would supervene the following month? Having just signed a lease at The Star, home of the Dallas Cowboys world headquarters, we were filled with fervor in spite of the fact that our new office space had turned into a ghost town overnight. While other companies began their work at home protocols, our newly fused team continued to meet fearlessly as we showed up day after day because no one told us we couldn’t build a business in the middle of a pandemic.

Healthcare Consumerism Is Backfiring on the Traditional Healthcare System

For years healthcare consumerism has been a buzz word used by CEOs and PR teams employed at huge health insurance companies and healthcare s...