Carol.com cuts jobs, changes strategy

  • Article by: CHEN MAY YEE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 11, 2008 - 9:24 AM

The start-up failed to draw enough shoppers or providers to its online medical marketplace.

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apexmarketinNov. 10, 08 9:40 PM

Seemed a bit ill-conceived and conveniently the Miller's got their money from a venture capital firm headed by Mr. Miller. Felt like they rushed to get to the market without much of a plan.

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AssassinAveNov. 11, 08 1:57 AM

Being a self-employed individual shopping around for insurance or one off appointments is definitely a reason to try and use Carol. I suspect that this may increase with more people losing jobs and having to choose between shopping or Cobra, i'd take the former. If the Carol people read this, why did you develop the site in Flash? It's cumbersome and slow. Could have just developed it the way everyone else does with the same style for and it would work way more effectively. The thing is I actually moved from MSP to Seattle and I don't remember the MSP one being Flash based.

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hswcbNov. 11, 08 5:46 AM

The consumer driven idea here is like the insurance industry trying to lay the blame for high medical cost on us patients and thinking high deductibles will reduce what they say is over use. The personal relationship and trust with my doc can not be canned and measured by a company. And, my choice of doc is not based on some unproven report card measurements. I would trust a user rating like EBay's before I'd trust the ranking methods places like Carol.com uses. The insurance industry does not belong between me and my doc. There is a simpler way to get my care paid for. And, a cheaper way. Keeping 30% of the cost going to line the insurance execs pockets is not sustainable. The experiment of using insurance in health care has failed. Remove the middle man!

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holymooseNov. 11, 08 6:38 AM

And for homes, cars, and food. Lasik eye surgery is not covered by insurance, and because providers had to compete in the consumer market, the price dropped from $5000 per eye to several hundred dollars per eye. Compare this to insured health care, which has risen at twice the rate of inflation for years. State and federal regulation of insurance has been driven by lobbyists and campaign contributions by big insurance companies. We need to shake off the bureaucracy and enact market based reform. Carol.com may or may not succeed, but they should be applauded for the leadership role they have taken in this effort.

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swotz1Nov. 11, 08 7:55 AM

If it is not working it must be ahead of it's own time. CDHP's and other conscious driven healthcare option are mandatory for our country and economy. As the CEO of a national Healthcare technologies firm it hurts me to hear we are #31 in the world in quality of care and #1 in spend. How many times have you heard people with string heath pans refer to doctor visits as FREE? This is and never was the case. The abuse needs to controlled by the consumer. Carol.com is phenomenal concept and with maturity it will be a service required by the public. Thank you or your efforts.

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stylemirNov. 11, 08 7:58 AM

... I don't think about shopping for it nor do I think of "Carol". Who is Carol? The ads trivialized the seriousness of healthcare by comparing it with shopping for a necktie. In healthcare, I'm not a consumer. I'm a patient.

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tomstromieNov. 11, 08 8:28 AM

Carol.com was a solution in search of a problem. It really has little to offer to most health care consumers and it's model encouraged providers to minimize their services. Think of it as pre-paid service on your car. Does the dealer call you up and suggest you bring your car for every service interval if you paid for 50,000 miles of service work?

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rkleppeNov. 11, 08 9:03 AM

Consumers (patients) want the best health available when they need it. Doctors get paid, for the most part, on how many procedures they do. Only about 30% of the care given is "evidence-based", the rest is up to the best thinking of the physician. Five percent of the population account for about 75% of the costs in any given year. Fifty percent of health care spending is for patients who through their behavior have generated medical issues for themselves. Fix these things and the costs will come down.

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mnhockey99Nov. 11, 08 9:15 AM

I appreciate the trust you have in your doctor.. but it is us as the consumer of healthcare that need to drive down the cost. Believe it or not, different clinics charge different amounts for the same service (as an example, Park Nic might charge $250 for an office call while Allina only charges $150). I'm sure you wouldn't buy a TV from a retailer for $5000 when the exact same model with the same warranty is available at another retailer for $3000.. so why should your behavior for healthcare be any different? And as for your comments regarding health insurance, I'll stick with paying my monthly premiums while you file bankruptcy because you can't afford the $1 million+ that is coming out of your pocket for your triple bypass.

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FinnBoyNov. 11, 08 9:37 AM

Stylemir - sorry, but you are a consumer of health care. you're a 'patient' in the clinic/hospital, but otherwise it sounds as if you believe you're entitled to health care benefits, which none of us are. the solution isn't providing "free health care" for our citizens but empowering them with information they need to make better decisions. "free health care" will cost this country billions more than it already does and remove any incentive for 'consumers' to take ownership of their health. if health care is free, where is the incentive to get more exercise, eat better and stop smoking/drinking?

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