Some Ideas Take Time To Take Off
iStock_000014314688SmallLife has many wonderful serendipities.  On a mission trip that I did back in the early 2000’s, I met Thad Puckett, leader of the Southern Baptist Mission team in Taipei, Taiwan.  Little did I know that he would need to return to his home in central Texas a few years later to be available to help with health issues in his family.  We met again at that time, with Thad looking for work, and with my company looking for someone to help develop our IT infrastructure.  And so God placed a missionary with a love for technology with a doctor turned businessman who knows nothing about technology.  And Thad has been saving my life – and my company ever since.  So it is with great pleasure that I hand over today’s blog to Thad! 


Sometimes when we talk with people about leaving their supposedly comfortable relationship with a health  insurance company to join The Health Co-Op, they just cannot comprehend that The Health Co-Op is a fundamentally different experience. 

The idea of The Health Co-Op seems to be hard to grasp.

A few weeks ago I read a fascinating article in The New Yorker, ostensibly about the development of anesthesia and antiseptic.  I say ostensibly, because the reality is that the article was about the spread of ideas.

Some take off.  Others take time.

Anesthesia and antiseptic both emerged in medicine at roughly the same time (in the mid-1800s).  Anesthesia took off.  It was a revolutionary idea.  Prior to the use of ether as an anesthesia, a patient was pretty much left to endure a surgery.  When first introduced, it was immediately understood to be a better way.

Patients liked anesthesia because they were essentially knocked out before and during a surgery.  Pain was taken off the table, so to speak, for the patient.

But pain was also taken off the table for the doctor.  Prior to anesthesia, surgeons had to wrestle (literally) their way through a procedure.

Life was made easier for the doctor, and life was prolonged for the patient.  A win-win.

Antiseptic, which we take for granted now, was equally revolutionary, but it took years to be widely adopted.

Whereas anesthesia benefited the patient and the doctor, antiseptic was lop sided.  It favored the life of the patient, which tends to last longer when infection is not introduced during a surgery!

For the doctor, antiseptic was more work.  Win-lose, with the doctor being the loser.  But the patient, the one actually paying the bill for the surgeon?  He/she was a winner because she/he remained among the living!

All this thinking about that article made me think about the power of The Health Co-Op.

In all the talk about health care reform, the one thing that has remained absolutely constant is thecomplexity.  Regardless of the promises made, or the promises broken, no one has expected the new health care to be less complicated than the old health care.

No one except the patient.

However, the sober truth of the matter is this:  The new health care is far and away more complex than the old health care.  So while the politicians raised expectations for we the consumers, those expectations cannot be met.

As the patient, the easy part isn’t just getting out the door of the doctor’s office, because the part you have to pay, if any, is sent to you as a bill later. There simply is no easy part for patients in the old health care or new reformed health care.

Many politicians believed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would be a win-win.  A win for them and a win for the patient, but it is more of a win-lose (the patient being on the losing end).

Many physicians are either leaving medicine altogether because of the ACA, or they are simply deciding to no longer take Medicaid, Medicare or private insurance.  They obviously see health care reform as lose-lose.

What about The Health Co-Op?

Our promise is this: the most important person in health care is always the patient.  There is a different experience for members of The Health Co-Op.

You won’t send premiums to impersonal companies who distribute 80% to patients.  You’ll send your monthly shares to members (people just like you) who have had a medical need, and sometimes those members will send you a thank you card! When’s the last time someone thanked you for paying an insurance premium?.

Want to see any doctor you chose?  With The Health Co-Op, there are no networks to ever be out of.  Your favorite physician is still yours!

Ever higher premiums?  No premiums at all in The Health Co-Op!  Yes, the monthly medical shares may increase, but members always have to approve a recommended increase.  When is the last time your insurance company phoned up to ask if they could raise your rates?

Your experience as a member of The Health Co-Op will be personal, caring, responsible and responsive.  You won’t be a number, you’ll be a person. A friend.

Don’t believe me?  Go read the testimonials on the right side of each page of this website from members across the U.S.

It may take a while for the idea of The Health Co-Op to take off, but like antiseptic and anesthesia, it will be a win-win for patients (members) and physicians (providers) alike.  It can be a win-win for you too.  To get started, click here.

Thad Puckett | @ThadPuckett