Many people see healthcare disparities everyday; Neel Shah, MD, MPP, had the courage to do something about it. Shah started his non-profit company, Costs of Care, as a medical student when he saw firsthand that the many tests and treatments being processed didn’t necessarily help patients – rather, the treatments seemed to dig deeper holes in patients’ pockets.
“I saw patients struggling to pay medical bills and was surprised to learn that few clinicians fully understood how their decisions impacted patients financially,” Shah says. He saw a tremendous opportunity to empower patients and caregivers by shining transparency on this issue.
Costs of Care is all about reframing solutions for healthcare costs away from the halls of congress and closer to patients’ bedsides. Shah co-wrote the recently published a textbook – Understanding Value-Based Care (McGraw-Hill) – which aims to integrate healthcare costs into clinical decision-making and consolidate them into easy-to-use references.
Shah’s cause has gained momentum as policymakers and patients alike demand increased accountability and transparency. “Over the next few years, we will see a shift towards rewarding quality care and the ability to look up costs of routine exams – accurately,” Shah says. Until then, Shah will already be there, waiting for the rest of the system to catch up.
Shreya specializes in health communications and is a copywriter for an advertising agency. She was previously at Bayer Healthcare, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide
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