Health Care Gets a Little Less Expensive
Here’s some good news for consumers: Schnucks is dispensing free prenatal vitamins to women with prescriptions. The offer builds on Schnucks’ free antibiotics program, which brought positive publicity and new customers to Schnucks pharmacies.
This is an example of market forces lowering health care costs. Schnucks wants to draw people to its stores, and to do that it has to stand out from its competitors. Other pharmacies will probably follow suit — if not with the same promotions as Schnucks, then with discounts on other medical services or products.
In the policy debate over the cost of care in hospitals, much of the discussion deals with putting medicine under regulatory control. Instead, we should be asking: How can we make hospitals operate more like Schnucks?