In the status quo, medical records are held as proprietary information by insurance companies and medical providers.
My job was to take large piles of medical records and abstract information from them for computer analysis. During one's life, they develop an extremely interesting collection of medical and financial records.
Well kept medical records read like a book. If people had direct access to this information, they would learn a great about themselves.
After leaving the insurance industry, I became intrigued with classical liberal thinking. I define classical liberal as the application of classical logic to the question of liberty. The US Founders were classical liberals.
The concept of property rights was fundamental to the US Founders. The term property means "say so."
People have property rights to their body. Each person has direct control of his body and should say-so over what his body does.
Property rights are fundamental to freedom in a physical world. If you do not have the ability to act in the world, then you have no freedom.
As I read the foundational literature of the United States, I realized that people have a property right to their body. This property right should extend to information about their body and the financial resources associated with it.
In the status quo, health care records are owned by big insurance companies and hospitals. This is counter to the concept of freedom.
My goal in designing the Medical Savings and Loan was to make the end user the direct owner of both their health care resources. This includes direct ownership of the funds used in health care and the all important medical records.
Although people own their bodies, people were not born with a recordkeeping gene.
To make the Medical Savings and Loan work, I needed to create a professional record keeper.
These people already exist internally in the insurance industry. Insurance companies fill large buildings with professionals who maintain records.
To make the individual the owner of their own medical records, I would need to take the internal bureaucracy and externalize it.
So, I created a new position called the Health Care Advocate who is directly employed by the policy holders. The advocate will hold and maintain medical records for their clients.
On joining the Medical Savings and Loan, you will find yourself sitting in a room with a Health Care Advocate. The very first thing this advocate does is establish a record keeping system for you. From these records, the advocate will help you set up a structured savings plan for your health care.
Every action of the advocate involves medical records. If you have an emergency medical expense, the advocate will check your records and apply for a loan. The advocate will compare your income with expenses. If your ratio of medical expenses to income falls outside the norm, the advocate will take your records and apply for grants on your behalf.
The Health Care Advocate does not provide medical care, the advocate provides record keeping services.
In a science driven medical system, the record keeping is almost as important as the care itself.
A primary difference between insurance and the medical savings and loan is that, with insurance, health care records are owned and maintained internally by the insurance company.
With the Medical Savings and Loan, the health care records are owned by individual people and maintained by the Health Care Advocates.
A Distributed NetworkOf course health care records do not exist in isolation. The records are used to communicate important information about people to health care providers, policymakers, actuaries, etc..
To handle the communication, the Medical Savings and Loan would create distributed network (a little bit like the, ahem, Internet).
The distributed network of health care records would replace the large centralized networks currently in place.
The Internet is not a single entity. There is a large number of service providers involved in the Internet. The same would be true of the Medical Savings and Loan. There would be different companies involved in different aspects of maintaining records.
The primary innovation of the Medical Savings and Loan reorganizes the maintenance around medical records around the premise that people have a property right to their bodies, and have a fundamental property right to the information associated with their body.