Policy

Dr. Hipster Makes House Calls

|

trust me, I'm a doctor

After stumbling upon some common ground with the crafty hipsters who make toys and also make trouble for government regulators, I'm delighted to find yet another libertarian-compatible hipster venture in the news today. This time, they're meddling in health care:

Started in August 2008 in Williamsburg, Hello Health has attracted roughly 300 members. For $35 per month, members gain access to Hello Health's website….Unlike most health IT platforms, Hello Health looks more like Flickr or Facebook than, say, Windows 95. Members can IM and email with their doctors, make appointments online, and access their digital health record, which includes blog-post style, doctor-authored summaries of each appointment.

Members are guaranteed appointments within 24 hours of scheduling, and can choose between visiting the office, receiving a house call, or, for minor illnesses or follow-up sessions, videoconferencing with a doc. Hello Heath doesn't take insurance (though patients with coverage are free to submit bills to insurers on their own), and all appointment fees are set in advance–$100 to $200 depending on the complexity of the visit, with lab tests and generic meds included in the price.

This model may not save the country from entitlement fiscal doom, but this kind of experimentation is exactly what we need right now if we're going to find a way out of the hole we dug for ourselves the Boomers dug and then threw us into.

Of course, if you start to feel too warm and fuzzy toward the denizens of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, there's always the folks on this website.