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The Next Big Trend? Call it COSTCOCare

I've long argued that primary care should be at the center of healthcare--not some marginalized specialty. Luckily, it looks like Costco is catching on.

In fact, Amazon, Walmart and now Costco are investing billions of dollars into primary care. So what do they see in it?

The answer is simple: they understand customers, common sense and basic economics. A well-run primary care operation lowers total healthcare costs and improves health outcomes. And it's definitely better for patients!

In true Costco fashion (full disclosure: I am a dues paying member), they are putting the customer first. That means eliminating billing, coding and insurance from the primary care experience. The results speak for themselves: a simple virtual care visit is $29 and a more comprehensive virtual visit is $72.

In addition to being both simple and convenient, this approach clearly lowers costs. The real question is why are our largest payers in healthcare - Medicare and Medicaid - not adopting similar practices?

My book The Journey’s End offers an answer. It's also available on Amazon.

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