How to Lower the Cost of Health Care

September 23, 2009

How can we make health care more affordable?  How about cutting the cost of providing care?

My dad runs a micro-medical practice, where he’s a one man show (actually one man + one part-time woman since my mom helps out with office stuff some evenings). 

His startup costs were pretty low since he bought most of his equipment used and his overhead is low since he doesn’t have a staff. He’s automated and optimized a lot that goes on in his office, using electronic medical records and digitzing everything that he can.

Since his costs are lower that means he doesn’t have to charge as much; which is important to him since his efforts are to provide care for underserved parts of the population. He’s a member of a group of doctors who are taking this approach to medicine. One of them recently sent out a list of ways that he keeps his cost down by using cheap or free technology across his practice.  Here are some of the ways he lowers his cost of running his practice:

Patient Records

Practice Fusion – Electronic Health Record Software; free


Office Ally – Billing; cheap

QuickBooks Simple Start – small-business accounting software; free download

FreshBooks – invoicing, time-tracking and expense service; free basic service

Information Technology

Adrive – : 50GB of online storage and backup for all file types; free basic service

Mozy – 2GB of online, data and remote backup solutions; free basic service 

Jott – voice-to-text service for creating notes, lists, e-mails and text messages; free basic service.

LogMeIn – remotely support and access digital information; free basic service

YouSendIt – send files up to 2GB; free basic service


BitDefender Online Scanner: virus scanners; free basic service

ZoneAlarm: firewall protection from hackers and threats; free basic service

Office Productivity

Google Calendar: shareable calendar and schedule organizer; free

Google Docs – collaborative word processor and spreadsheet applications; free

OpenOffice – open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets; free

Project Management/Collaboration -project management solution and updates

Dimdim – open-source web conferencing application; free basic service

Marketing / Networking

Microsoft Office Live Small Business: create a company website, domain and e-mail; free basic service

Blogger – blog publishing tool; free

Entrepreneur Connect – Entrepreneur’s social networking site; free

LinkedIn: business social networking site; free

What do you think? Would you go a doctor that used technology to run a one person practice? What if it meant better rates or better access to your doctor?


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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6 Responses to How to Lower the Cost of Health Care

  • Samson Smith

    Great post, All are the perfect ways to lower your health care cost.

  • Bedrijfspand huren

    Also if you get enough patients, the costs will decrease.

  • Gary Seto

    Your father has the kind of Ideal Medical Practice that I and many other physicians are striving to achieve with the help of free and cheap technology to make the practice of medicine easier. One of the unstated benefits of running a medical practice this way is that the doctor has more time to spend with each patient since he/she doesn’t have to churn through 25-30 patients/day just to pay the salaries of the support staff. Thanks for bringing attention to this kind of medicine and for the technology advice. If your father isn’t already on the IMP Map (, the online directory of ideal medical practices/micropractices, please have him contact me.

  • Joe

    This kind of a practice, along with a philosophy of treatment that advocates lower cost through health improvements (lose weight, don’t smoke, exercise, etc.) is ideal.

    I have made this kind of choice before. I chose a dentist that used computerized xrays rather than films.

    Good luck to your folks in this endeavor.


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