PODCAST: “Inelastic” Demand in Healthcare

Economic Implications of Pain Suffering and Imminent Death?

Inelastic Demand in Healthcare: Economic Implications of Pain, Suffering and Imminent Death.


By Eric Bricker, MD

Inelastic Demand Occurs When the Quantity Demanded for a Good or Service Does NOT Change When the Price Changes.

Citation: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

Consequently, When the Supply of a Healthcare Service is Limited, then the Price Goes Up … Way Up, Since the Quantity Demanded Does Not Change.

Examples of Inelastic Demand with Limited Supply in Healthcare Are:

1) Emergencies

2) Patented Medications for Diseases That Have No Other Alternatives

3) Doctor Specialties Where the Patient Has No Choice in the Services Such As Radiologists, Anesthesiologists and Pathologists

The High-Cost Claimants with Inelastic Demand Drive the Majority of Healthcare Costs for a Group.  They Generally Fall into 3 Diagnosis Categories: 1) Orthopedics, 2) Cardiovascular and 3) Cancer.

Orthopedics Should Be the 1st Priority for Lowering Healthcare Costs for a Population … While Demand May be Inelastic, Usually There is Choice and Not a Limited Supply of Orthopedic Services.

Efforts in Orthopedics Should Focus on Increasing Choice, Such as Free Travel to Centers-of-Excellence with Bundled Pricing.

Cardiovascular Care and Cancer Care Tend to Have Inelastic Demand AND Limited Supply. Therefore, the Best Way to Lower Healthcare Costs in These Areas is Through Prevention.

ASSESSMENT: Your thoughts are appreciated.



Doctors “Pay Up” OR ELSE “Don’t Work”

Physicians Suspected of Mental Health Issues

J. Wesley Boyd M.D., Ph.D.

I used to be an Associate Director in a state physician health program (PHP) and I served as a consultant when the state of North Carolina audited its PHP. Now, roughly twice a month I am contacted by a physician somewhere in the U.S. who is, effectively, being extorted.

How are they being extorted? These physicians are forced to either pay tens of thousands of dollars to for-profit evaluation/treatment centers or else lose their ability to practice medicine.

LINK: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/almost-addicted/201912/doctors-pay-or-else-dont-work#=

MD Mental CARE: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/almost-addicted/201904/why-physicians-who-need-psychiatric-care-go-kansas

MEDICAL BOARDS: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2016/07/14/a-brief-history-of-medical-boards/

EDITOR’S NOTE: Colleague J. Wesley Boyd, M.D., Ph.D., is a professor of psychiatry and medical ethics at Baylor College of Medicine. He is also a lecturer on global health and social medicine at Harvard Medical School. He writes on issues of social justice, human rights, immigration and asylum, access to care, and substance use disorders. And, he is the author of the book, Almost Addicted, which won the Will Solemine Award for Excellence in Medical Writing from the New England American Medical Writer’s Association. Dr. Boyd also contributed to our major textbook on Risk Management, Liability Insurance and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors. We appreciate his work and contributions.

Dr. David E. Marcinko MBA


Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

ORDER TEXTBOOK: https://www.routledge.com/Risk-Management-Liability-Insurance-and-Asset-Protection-Strategies-for/Marcinko-Hetico/p/book/9781498725989

INVITE DR. MARCINKO: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/dr-david-marcinkos-



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