Priceline for Medical Care

imagesWe live in a Share & Bid Economy: There’s Priceline for Cars/Hotel, Shipping Wars on A&E for transporting goods and eBay for everything else. Well, now there’s a new service called Medibid and it works exactly like you’d expect: For $25, patients post bids for out-patient medical treatment (i.e. knee surgery) and doctors submit bids. The doctor must provide their license number but after that you’re on your own when it comes to validating quality and the like. Washington Post 

The site is focusing on transparency: we should KNOW what a service will cost (in its entirety) before we agree to have it performed. These days, doctors sometimes post full videos of their operation / work online. So between social media and the Internet, researching a medical professional’s history or even getting reviews is not as hard as it used to be. Take HealthGrades, for instance: the site allows people to rate doctors and post about their experiences. If this takes off, it will certainly squeeze the hospital establishment and will become a win for doctors  because they can perform the operation in their offices and not pay typical hospital costs.

Even so, most medical professionals are referred, meaning word of mouth will prevail over an insurance company’s “in-network” list. If someone you trust has a great experience, it makes financial sense for you (considering insurance contribution) and the doctor is on Medibid, I say go for it!