Bitcoin Fixes Healthcare

Published on
October 17, 2022
Originally published by on Oct 17, 2022

There is a common saying in bitcoin that “bitcoin fixes this”. Bitcoin has a profound way of realigning incentives. Bitcoin is grounded in reality, rooted in energy and backed by the physical laws of our world. While bitcoin has started to make inroads in the financial and energy markets, CrowdHealth is introducing bitcoin into healthcare, as the healthcare industry is ripe for disruption. Despite consuming 20% of the GDP in the US annually and over $12K per year in spend per person, health outcomes continue to decline.1 By introducing free-market economics and saving in the hardest asset humans have ever discovered, bitcoin can indeed “fix” healthcare. There is no incremental shift or policy change that is going to bring down the cost of the current US system. We need to build a new way of achieving health in the 21st century, which starts by taking responsibility at the individual level, working its way up into the community for support, and utilizing modern tools at our disposal.

Here are some of the ways CrowdHealth is building on Bitcoin’s core values:

Reintroducing Free Market Economics Into Health Care

The economics of insurance gets messy quickly. Ultimately what you need to understand is that when you pool health and financial risk into insurance and cap the profits of insurance companies, the incentive for prices and premiums is to go up. On the contrary, CrowdHealth members introduce themselves as self-pay cash individuals into the health system. CrowdHealth directly negotiates with healthcare providers for fair prices and eliminates inefficient health middlemen (health insurance companies, pharmacy benefits managers, administrative burden). We have so far seen about 43% reduction in healthcare bills, and 74% off negotiated bills over $1000. How is this possible? Providers are strapped for cash and don’t want to wait 60-90 days to get reimbursed by insurance companies only to see a high percentage of claims denied. Having so many billers and insurers involved with on provider also introduces a massive amount of waste –15-30% of healthcare spend is administrative, and half of which is wasteful.2

Value for Value Exchange

Healthcare services should be a value for value exchange between a consumer and a provider. Restoring the patient-doctor relationship means moving away from the hyper-efficiency, fee-for-service model rampant in healthcare today that is leading to perverse incentives and physician burnout. We empower members to go higher quality, lower cost providers without network restrictions. There’s a federal statute that you can get a fair price in healthcare, by eliminating insurance as a middleman we can restore the energy exchange in healthcare. Eventually we’ll be paying doctors in bitcoin over the Lightning Network, which will eliminate the 6-10% fees that the electronic medical record and billing companies take.

Open and Transparent

CrowdHealth members can utilize 24/7 telemedicine (urgent care/primary care/talk therapy) for immediate concerns and avoid unnecessary visits to the emergency room. CrowdHealth makes it easy to understand health care utilization cost upfront and submit bills. Unlike your hundreds of pages long explanation of benefits,

CrowdHealth is making the health care process easier to navigate, with support of a Care Advocate.

Low Time Preference

Health is the ultimate low time preference tradeoff. We are constantly in a struggle on cost/benefit tradeoffs now and into the future. Bitcoin pushes individuals to rethink their time horizon and spending habits, as it has gone up in value 200% year over year for the past decade. That presents a significant opportunity cost to spending today, versus saving for future purchasing power tomorrow. Our health is more important than purchasing power, as without our health we won’t be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor. By joining CrowdHealth’s decentralized model, individuals pay the first $500 of a health event and request community support for bills over $500. Individuals are incentivized to make decisions that lead to better health long term, saving you and the community value. Saving in bitcoin for future healthcare needs is the best insurance policy for future healthcare needs.

Proof of Work

Like bitcoin mining that uses real energy resources to establish the truth, it takes dedicated effort to improve your health and wellbeing over the long term. Both bitcoin and CrowdHealth empower you to take responsibility and control over your health. When you merge the consumer and payer of healthcare, the moral hazard risk is significantly reduced. Suddenly you will think more about what you eat, how you exercise and move throughout your day to stay healthy. We also are dedicated to supporting you in your health journey by working with our amazing care advocate.

Aligned Incentives

Bitcoin mining introduces unforgeable costliness, meaning it is too expensive to fake transactions that will be rejected by nodes. CrowdHealth is driven to lower everyone's health care costs, unlike health insurance that is incentivized to increase premiums to earn more profit. CH also negotiates on your behalf for better prices and earns 20% of the shared savings as revenue. This represents time and effort savings you don’t have to do on your own, while it is difficult to go up against the healthcare system goliath on your own.

Continued Education

Ongoing webinars and workshops on a variety of health and wellness, such as diet/nutrition, yoga/meditation, fitness and how to navigate healthcare. We’re also actively partnering with organizations that are aligned with our values of individual sovereignty and wellness, such as The Beef Initiative and The Meat Mafia, as well as Camp Gladiator and ISSA.

Bitcoin is the best way that humans have discovered to store value over time. Satoshi Nakomoto brilliantly set bitcoin into motion 13 years ago, 3 and it continues to operate thanks to voluntary contributions of miners, node runners, developers and individual HODLers. With a fixed supply of 21 million coins that will ever be issued, CrowdHealth members are saving for future health care needs in the hardest currency. When you have a healthcare need in 10 or 20 years, you can either have been saving in bitcoin, or spending money on premiums that are thrown away each month that you will never get back. Going down the Bitcoin and Health rabbit holes are lifelong endeavors, and we’re thrilled to be on the journey with you.

1. CMS.gov, National Health Expenditure Accounts
2. The Role of Administrative Waste in Excess US Health Spending, Health Affairs, October 6, 2022. <https://www.healthaffairs.org/content/briefs/administrative-waste-excess-health-spending>
3. Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. October 31, 2008. <https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf>

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