Competitiveness in any market benefits both, the consumer and the businesses. Consumers get the edge of having options to choose from in terms of quality of service and goods. The most important aspect of market competition is that it helps keep the prices of products in check with quality and demand. This way consumers have multiple options to choose from and with varying prices. The medical supplies market operates just the same way.
The healthcare market is such that it has limited the scope of competitiveness and placed constraints on their limitations. The overall scope of the market lies on the same mediocre standard of medical supplies and lack of competition entails that each manufacture is creating the same product. Quality and sustainable healthcare are no longer affordable for the general mass. There are a number of factors that have contributed to the downfall of competitiveness in the medical supplies market, we’ll take a look at those in turn.
Limited Insurance Coverage
Most consumers don’t have access to the same standards of medical supplies and overall health care since it is most likely dependant on their health insurance. This disparity in the standard of health care is the new low for our society collectively. Most patients face constraints from their health insurance policy owing to state regulations and the overall terms of their monthly premium.
Most people’s health insurance is limited to certain localities, making their health care services restrained to geographic differences. Most health insurance companies offer almost identical health insurance plans, defeating the scope of competitiveness in the field. There can be an increase in competitiveness in the medical supplies market if insurance companies rise up to create better well-rounded insurance policies for their customers and break the spell of common standards.
Patent Based Monopoly
Its common practice for drug and device patents to create a monopoly when manufacturing treatments for novel diseases. Physicians and manufacturers join hands to produce supplies based on the benefit of the monopoly without regard to most consumers’ high-end needs. Most products are introduced on the same scale of prices as their counterparts without any regard to their demand and need.
This influence of one party over the other has created a monopoly in supply and demand that only benefits the business and not the consumer as much as it should. Until and unless these monopolies break, consumers will continue to be left neglected.
Health care providers often have exclusive services limited to certain localities and medical facilities. What is supplied and made available in one locality might not be available in the other. This does not give room for competition, to begin with, because each health care provider is offering a different standard of service.
This entails that while some hospitals offer exclusive services, others might not, therefore creating disparity rather than competitiveness. This is especially true for hospitals together in a certain locality but is offering a completely different range of services.
Similar Price Scales
There is little to no transparency in the prices offered by health care providers, adding to the lack of competitiveness in the market. Since there is virtually no comparative prices to choose from, customers really can not choose between providers. The prices across a general location go up and down together which doesn’t allow consumers to pick and choose between providers.
The quality of the product continues to stay the same if not improve while costs continue to skyrocket. It is without a doubt that healthcare across the globe is getting more expensive by the day while its quality is improved by only a select few. The money that collectively goes into health care must be reflected in the quality of service and supplies that are used.
All in all, we can conclude that health care providers and health care insurance must operate on two different ends in order to do their job effectively. The health care service and supplies must not be dependant on the insurance policy of each citizen. We must be able to purchase medical supplies and products as per our needs and not based on the insurance policy or any other number of factors.
We must be given the autonomy to choose these services based on expertise and prices. Health care providers and insurance companies should work on ways to provide the best quality of services for the lowest prices. Once this is achieved, there can be real competition in the market based on the quality of services offered by each health care provider and the insurance company.