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Where Does it Hurt?

An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Fixing Health Care

By Jonathan Bush and Stephen Baker
10-minute read
Where Does it Hurt?: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Fixing Health Care by Jonathan Bush and Stephen Baker

America’s health care system is failing, and a revolution is needed. Hospital visits are a messy experience, and people don’t have fast and easy access to the medical services they need. In Where Does It Hurt?, Jonathan Bush argues that we can fix our broken health care industry by making it more open. Entrepreneurs need the space to provide alternative services, so hospitals will be forced to better themselves to catch up.

  • Anyone interested in health care or medicine
  • Anyone interested in business
  • Anyone interested in medical start-ups

Jonathan Bush is the CEO and cofounder of Athenahealth, one of the most successful medical communications software programs in the United States. Stephen Baker is an author, and a former senior writer for Businessweek.

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Where Does it Hurt?

An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Fixing Health Care

By Jonathan Bush and Stephen Baker
  • Read in 10 minutes
  • Contains 6 key ideas
Where Does it Hurt?: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Fixing Health Care by Jonathan Bush and Stephen Baker
Synopsis

America’s health care system is failing, and a revolution is needed. Hospital visits are a messy experience, and people don’t have fast and easy access to the medical services they need. In Where Does It Hurt?, Jonathan Bush argues that we can fix our broken health care industry by making it more open. Entrepreneurs need the space to provide alternative services, so hospitals will be forced to better themselves to catch up.

Key idea 1 of 6

The health care industry is broken because there’s no competition.

Big research hospitals function almost like department stores: you go there for all your medical needs. So why aren’t there any “boutique” hospitals to compete with this model?

Everyone knows that hospital visits are frustrating. Parking is difficult, service is usually bad, medical records go missing, waiting takes hours and bills are unbelievably high. Each of those problems means a market opportunity for a competitor to offer something better, at a lower cost.

This happened when LASIK eye correction surgery was introduced in 1991. It was expensive and considered very risky, so it wasn’t covered by most insurance plans. People had to pay if they wanted it.

So LASIK operators had to provide the best possible service at affordable prices in order to woo customers. This enabled the industry to advance – LASIK’s process now has a 95 percent satisfaction rate. This should be a model for the whole health care system: when there’s competition, customers win.

The health care industry would be improved by more openness. We need more choices. People should be able to decide for themselves how much their insurance covers, instead of being forced to accept an all-inclusive plan that includes services they won’t use.

What if you had the option of being covered only for big accidents, or curable serious illnesses? And for other services like dentists, you could choose the best providers?

Entrepreneurs also need the freedom to develop ways of providing higher quality health care. They need more access to medical information, for instance, which is often guarded by hospitals.

If people had more chances to choose smaller, entrepreneurial medical care like LASIK, they could avoid the problems associated with bigger hospitals.

This, in turn, would push hospitals to improve their services and hold onto their patients (or “customers”).

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