By Meg Freeman, Executive Directory of the Free Market Medical Association.
The Free Market Medical Association is a non-partisan association that provides resources, support, and education to it’s membership and the public about the free market movement in healthcare. The FMMA helps to defend and expand the practice of free market medicine against the interference and intrusion of the government and other third parties. Members connect with each other to offer support and business opportunities through connections made by the FMMA and through the Annual Conference. The FMMA also assists members with creating state chapters to further the movement in their communities and put the buyers and sellers ‘in the same room’ to discuss their mutual needs.
The FMMA educates physicians, self-funded businesses, third party administrators, and other health care service providers/facilitators in how to further the movement. Founded on three pillars: Price, Value, and Equality, the association focuses on the things that are NOT found in our current system. In order to motivate real change in healthcare, parties must recognize and embrace transparency and the free market approach. Healthcare is the only area of the US economy where it is almost impossible to find out the cost of a product or service BEFORE you purchase it. Bringing the focus back to these pillars, and requiring that members conduct themselves according to them, helps to define a common standard of conduct.
Coming soon, the FMMA will be launching a Price Finder Tool on their website that allows member providers to post their pricing for procedures and services. This tool will be available at no charge to the general public to search for a bundled, cash, transparent price on these services.
The 2016 Annual Conference – US Healthcare: The Free Market Force Awakens is going be a key event. The FMMA anticipates more than 200 attendees from around the US and across all spectrums of the healthcare marketplace; including patients, employers, physicians, surgeons, facilities, brokers, third party administrators, etc. With a speaker lineup that is unparalleled, the attendees will hear from stop loss carriers, health plan attorneys, surgery centers who have made the move to bundled cash pricing, and more. Additionally, there will be specific tracks for Buyers, Sellers, and Vendor Services. The emcee and Keynote speaker this year is Jeff Deist, President of the Mises Institute. Everyone is very excited to hear from one of the trailblazers and supporters of the free market. It is common to hear from conference attendees that they arrived at conference skeptical, and cynical about the path healthcare is on. Upon leaving, they are fired up, with new out-of-the box ideas on how they can shape the healthcare marketplace in their community, and with new friends in the movement to support them. One common occurrence is when burned-out and fed up primary care physicians learn about Direct Primary Care. The concept is relatively new, but allows these physicians to take their lives back from the big hospital employers and the insurance companies; giving them the opportunity to focus on providing amazing patient care again.
When all the parties involved in healthcare purchasing are available to each other in an open and transparent way, amazing things happen! For many years, the buyers and sellers were prohibited from working together by third parties who had monetary incentive to keep healthcare opaque. When that curtain is lifted, giving all participants the opportunity to brain storm together, open and honest discussion leads to significant changes.