Monday, December 01, 2008

A Portal to NoWhere

Boy, not only will insurers take your money to "spread the wealth" of risk for healthcare, they're now into web portal design and maintenance! I mean, I want insurers to tell me about sweet potato soup recipes, don't you? It's such an efficient use of our health care dollar, right?

And don't get me started about their helpful symptom checker, designed specifically to delay a call to a health care professional that would take a fraction of the time to deal with a patient's concerns. Oh no, we can all be reassured that diagnoses made here are MUCH more accurate as the poor patient is dragged through this an algorithm-driven, inflexible system. We've seen how good others were at this approach. I mean, why talk to a person?

I find this development concerning. First, to suggest that "wellness" is going to reduce health care costs is contradicted here. Is this not just another attempt to market for services? How much does this marketing camppaign cost the patient already burdened with ever-higher insurance premiums? Where, exactly, are the cost savings in sweet potato soup recipes? Are people really saving money as they are directed to yet another website in the interest of becoming "AlphaWell?"

And where else might this disgusting display of waste take us?

I'd say, to the cleaners.


h/t: WSJ (subscription).

1 comment:

researchernurse said...

Don't forget the mandatory phone calls from some person who wants to help you take better care of your chronic illness. Last person who called with advice about my physican spouse's CAD management was an LPN with nothing but a "cookbook" to guide her. My husband now refuses to take the phone calls so the insurance company sends him letters via the USPS. Don't believe that an LPN can do much advising of an internist.