Posts Tagged ‘Rob Schaaf’

And Now Missouri

I’d love to meet Senator Rob Schaaf, a Missouri state senator and family physician.  After reading about a bill he’s sponsoring in the Missouri Senate in the Columbia Missourian , I’ve got a real hunch I’d like him – because no doubt, we’re on the same wavelength.

An eight-year veteran of the state House, he now serves a northwest Missouri senatorial district, having been elected Senator last year.  He’s been a family physician in the region since 1985, past president of the Buchanan County Medical Society and is Chairman of the Board of the Missouri Doctors Mutual Insurance Company (MoDocs), which he helped form in 2004.

So if anyone can understand the complexity of the American healthcare system, he can!

Senator Schaaf’s bill would require insurance companies to provide consumers with online information about the cost of healthcare services through various medical practices. He obviously understands how critical healthcare cost transparency is to average consumers who are becoming more and more responsible for the cost of healthcare and need a way  to see what healthcare truly costs.  Right now, consumers really have no clue because the American healthcare system has shrouded costs behind a privacy curtain.

As a result, Missouri is now one of several other states that are beginning to work for greater transparency.  In late January, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation suggested in a Gwinnett County’s Talk Gwinnett news story that addressing the issue will help the state begin saving money on the care of nearly 600,000 state workers. On January 1, the state of Wisconsin enacted a new healthcare transparency law to show consumers the true cost of healthcare.  And that came on the heels of the state of Massachusetts, which is now using cost transparency to reduce the bite that healthcare insurance premiums are taking out of individual, state and municipal budgets.  All three have realized that empowering consumers with greater cost information will help them make more informed healthcare purchase decisions, saving everyone money.

Dr. Schaaf is SO on track.

The news story quoted him as saying that his cost transparency bill would bring competition to healthcare, helping lower healthcare costs through other means beyond government:

“People would pay less for healthcare if they could shop for the cheapest places,” he said.  “We have people in our state who don’t know which provider to go to because they don’t know how much money it’s going to be out of pocket.  Insurance companies won’t tell you the day before, but they will tell you the day after.  But by then it’s too late.”

Yep.  So incredibly on track.

I believe when you give consumers solid, transparent information about their healthcare and show them the value-driven care options available, invariably they make far more insightful decisions about their care and its quality. And that helps everyone’s bottom line!

Kudos to Dr. Schaaff.  I hope his fellow senators see the wisdom of voting for his bill to usher in greater cost transparency.  The citizens of Missouri will greatly benefit!