From time to time on Neurosurgery Blog, you will see us cross-posting or linking to items from other places that may interest our readers. Today’s post originally appeared on 1819 News on April 21, titled “Ending the Health Insurance Monopoly Will Make Life Healthier for Alabamians.” In the op-ed, Richard P. Menger, MD, MPA, assistant professor of neurosurgery and political science at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Ala., discusses why broadening health insurance coverage options in Alabama will improve the state’s health care system.
Alabama is tied with Alaska as the least competitive insurance market in the nation, limiting patient options, hurting hospitals and physicians and feeding the insurance industry. Lack of competition also impacts prior authorization, a system where insurance companies must approve certain surgeries before they agree to pay for them, despite the physician and patient deciding upon a personalized treatment plan. Dr. Menger states that this is an intentional delay tactic, and the cumbersome apparatus frustrates families, hurts patients and burns out physicians.
Dr. Menger argues that the arc of reform needs to bend towards the injection of competition between and within state lines — With that will come better products, lower prices, higher quality and more innovation.
Click here to read the full op-ed by Dr. Menger.
Editor’s Note: Organized neurosurgery aims to improve competition in the health care system by broadening health insurance coverage options, increasing scrutiny of hospital and other health care consolidation, removing restrictions on physician ownership of hospitals and other ancillary services and establishing network adequacy standards.
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