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Brian McKenzie

There is much talk of bringing an 'Uber' Solution to health care – and they all surround the notions of tech portals, IoT, Fitness Apps and Quality Reviews on par with a Yelp stream. And what each of these forget – is the Hammer of Compliance and Regulation in the United States Health Care realm. At first blush – there is HIPAA - Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act that was passed by Congress in 1996. In its' inception, this bill was to protect patient privacy and medical security; while still providing patient flexibility to move from provider to provider...... and if you are in the medical field – you should know that Identity Theft has had a hockey stick escalation since its implementation; because your health bill is a treasure trove of data for theft – ripe for the picking. That it created an environment in EXACT opposition to its' title heading should have been grave foreshadowing for something named the 'Patient Protection Affordable Care Act' (the official name of ObamaCare).

Reality of Protecting Health Information

Tech widgets - without consideration of compliance and regulatory statues is a worthless game of pong, and it is exactly what has kept true innovation out of the market sector; as seen with Google, Wal-Mart and even Microsoft abandoning startups in the medical technology.

So what could be the UBER realities for the healthcare market? What the market innovations of Uber, Lyft, BlahBlahCar, etc allow you to do is to summon a car for your ride needs and forgo the traditional taxi. It provides a greater flexibility in areas that have not been traditionally serviced by Taxis – or where getting a Taxi is difficult due to dispatch and traffic congestion issues. But further, UBER provides an additional series of opportunities. First, it allows common drivers of private vehicles to use their personal car to earn addition income from trips, commutes, errands and shuttles – creating a new class of employment and stream of revenue into the economy. Second – it circumvents the traditional 'Taxi Medallion' licensing bureaucracy that limit entry into the market for drivers of traditional Taxis. Third – it reduces the number of cars on the road, by actually incentivizing car pooling; the greener tree-huggers should be loving it. Fourth – it provides a level of freedom out from the need to own a car; the outlay purchase price, maintenance costs, insurance fees, licensing, parking and risk of theft / accident – are all removed. Fifth – standardized service and quality; when you call an UBER, you know that it is an endorsed commercial variant that is not a hitch-hiking meme. And finally – easy, with a simple App, you have an affordable, available, and reliable option at your call.

This is what an UBER of Health Care should provide. Something that is easy to access, has price transparency, market endorsed viability, embraces personal freedom and choice, provides multiple vendor options, and mostly subverts the current governmental bureaucracy that inhibits care at nearly every junction with its' oppressive bureaucracy. It should be a true mobile tech architecture that provides a flexibility granting affordable pricing, quality of delivery, and independent care vendors. Additionally, a true UBER solution would allow for an income revenue stream, in this case from savings and investments at the individual level that separates from the current rigid delivery systems. Business needs to decouple from the idea that they are a care giver nanny for every whine, sniffle and bruise; doubly so for government.

And there are market driven responses and avenues to care out there that leave the mandated care paths enforced by the PPACA legislation. That solution is Direct Pay Primary Care or Concierge Medical. There are a few different variants out there of this path. The most common variant starts with the counter-intuitive notion that the doctor and clinic do NOT accept insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid payments for their services. It is a pure cash model. In doing this, doctors are able to relieve many of the paperwork requirement for billing and medical compliance. Further, as you are not required to fill out the prerequisite data fields of brainless monolithic EMR, you have increased patient face to face time to provide actual medical care solutions. In a second variant, a corporation will hire an on-site doctor dedicated only to serving company employees and families. This allows the company to keep their employees on site and reduce worker time off; but it also limits their exposure to the risk of critical emergency costs.

There are also variants that are community faith-based that operation on a similar model. As a church parish or faith congregation, funds can be pooled and used to forestall costs only among the pool of the community that you know and have shared lifestyles and values with. And they have been highly resilient in their monetary feasibility and cost containment measures while still providing quality care; and typically reserved for catastrophic events and not routine day to day sniffles, bumps and bruises.

Health is individual, personal and must start with the concept of self analysis and responsibility for your own health status. Entirely too much is surrendered in healthcare in the new modals of victim-hood. NOBODY but you is responsible for your eating habits, your smoking / drinking habits, your exercise frequency and fitness levels. Managing just these elements would vastly reduce the need for face time with a doctor and lower overall national expenditures for 'Healthcare'.

And these are the solutions that I am working on overseas. With MEDx eHealthCenter; we provide a patient owned electronic medical record that is web and mobile accessible. These records stay with the patient and are consistent for care no matter what country in Africa that care is sought. Further, the platform offers an integrated payment path for mobile cash, personal budget accounts, direct payment options from personal bank accounts and a secure platform that allows for family contribution to care as well. Our App helps patients find available certified physician ready to give care, while giving tele-medicine capability for difficult care instances. And finally, MEDx is a market based solution, uncoupled from government regulatory bureaucracy as it is not funded from tax coffers. We are launching live in Africa; the Middle East and Europe are on deck for the next 3 years of development. And I am working hard to provide a beta test environment to show the US market viable and sustainable solutions to ObamaCare.

If you are an investor, corporate executive, or expat employee that needs smart solutions in an international environment – in box me.

HealthCare - The Uber Solution:

MEDx eHealthCenter
Brian McKenzie is a healthcare expert specializing in cost-effective delivery of medical care using the latest technology. Follow him on Bebee.com @brian-mckenzie. Contact him here.

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