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First, thank you for taking the effort to analyze an important problem and develop a forum where people can learn and think.

What do you think about this idea? Along with clear, transparent pricing, have health-care providers carry "cost-overrun" insurance. In essence, hospitals would set flat prices for procedures but would have any 'unexpected' costs covered by their insurance policy. Then, make the premiums that hospitals pay to cover their services available to consumers. The premiums would give consumers more information to help them make better decisions and reward the best hospitals. Hospitals would also end up paying for their own inefficiencies.

I know there other things we can do first to help drive down costs, such as tort reform. And I know there are complications with my idea; there are few "typical" patients or procedures, and care for chronic illness is very difficult to price. Also, insurance premiums are an imperfect measurement.

I just had this idea and haven't found anyone to run it by that might have some insight. Be gentle, I'm still a naive twenty-something.

And feel free to ignore my message. I don't want you to waste your time. I'll take a non-response as a direction to 'keep trying."

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