How to Cut Health Care Costs, a Continuing Series

I got me a pair of crutches yesterday. (Don’t worry, it’s just a fracture of the left foot, nothing serious.) I got a prescription from the doctor, just like you get a prescription for pills, went to a shop, co-payed five euros – and now they’re mine. In other words, I’ll use them for two weeks or so and then leave them to rot in the attic. Someone living close to me will get a prescription in a few weeks’ time, get his or her pair, use it for a few weeks and then leave it to rot in the attic. And so forth.

Wouldn’t it make more sense if anyone who needed crutches could borrow a pair, maybe put down a small deposit, bring the crutches back when s/he doesn’t need them anymore and get the deposit back? They could then be cleaned and lent to the next person who needs them. And so forth.

Now, despite having been told that these things are more expensive than they look, I am not so naive as to think that crutches make up a major portion of this nation’s health care budget. But if even I, based on my pretty limited contact with the health care system, can come up with ideas about how to save money without reducing the quality of care (earlier), I wonder what some persons with expertise could think up. Some millions here, some millions there, soon we’re talking about real money.

By the way, having an MRI of your foot taken is not as easy as it may sound. You’re not supposed to move, which means you’re not supposed to laugh, which is pretty hard given that the machine sounds exactly like an arcade shoot-em-up, ca. 1990. Ra-tatatata...

No comments: