A Utah entrepreneur had an epiphany after receiving a discount for cash payment after the birth of a child. Like many before him, he decided he could fix healthcare by making it more like the rest of the economy. He’s had some success with Nomi Health.
David Williams explains the benefits and limitations of the approach in Utah Business.
Williams believes the government must step in to truly change healthcare. “Self-insured employers can’t fix healthcare—unfortunately, they’re stuck at the mercy of it,” he says.
Williams says Nomi may save employers money and please providers, but there are drawbacks to paying directly. Because Nomi must ink contracts with each local provider and hospital, it will likely mean patients have a “narrow network.” This is good if you’re the preferred provider for an employer’s network—you’ll receive all those patients—but it means patients have fewer choices of providers for their care. That may work in a small community but would be less ideal in a large city, Williams says.
There’s also a chance that Nomi’s model may not encourage responsible behavior of employees, either, Williams says. Because employees aren’t paying a copay or a deductible, there’s a risk that they will overuse the medical system. “They won’t think twice about going to a doctor,” he says.