Welcome to the intersection of healthcare and personal finance, a place I like to call Max Out of Pocket.
After spending over a decade working in the American healthcare system, I woke up burnt out (morally injured) and wondering how I can help a stretched and broken system.
I am not a clinician. I don’t even do the hard work. I work in the background counting beans. The amazing clinicians we have in this country that are taking care of our loved ones do the real work. But the broken healthcare finance system and the financial waste I have witnessed has taken its toll on me. I have that sense of cynicism Dr. Z describes. It’s true, administrators and financial people are burning out too.
Years of salary growth and helping hospital systems across the country deal with a super complex financial system put me in a financial position to potentially step away from the grind at a young age.
But I can’t do it.
The corporate world can be rewarding, toxic, and addictive.
Back in 2013 when Max OOP stumbled across a few personal finance blogs talking about financial independence and retiring early (FIRE), it struck a chord. I finally found my people. It took turning to the internet to find others out there actually interested in this stuff. I was already well on the path of spending less, saving more, and investing the difference. But now I knew others were doing it too.
That’s not to say there wasn’t room for optimization in the Max OOP household. To my surprise, there were several new and unique ideas out there I hadn’t thought about yet. Come to find out, some people were actually beating me in this FIRE thing. Max OOP is pretty competitive, so this just was not going to fly.
There is one thing missing in this space, and that is healthcare.
Personal finance is basically a hobby for me. I actually enjoy things like spreadsheets and calculators. I also consider healthcare one of the pillars of personal finance. Since healthcare also happens to be my current livelihood, we have come to a bit of a convenient intersection here.
I am interested in healthcare finance, early retirement, travel, taxes, sabbaticals, going back to work, interesting work, and establishing a healthcare resource in the personal finance space. I have also started a side project of buying medical office buildings that might one day help fund this little blog project.
You may have gotten hit with an unexpected medical bill. You may be planning to have a baby. You may just be trying to understand your insurance. You may just want to take care of your patients without feeling trapped.
You are in luck. I know the good and the bad of the healthcare financial system.
All the careful planning in the world won’t always prepare you for navigating healthcare. I have been working in healthcare billing and finance for over 10 years, and I still don’t understand it all. So how can we expect the average consumer to understand it?
We didn’t ask for this system, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make it work for us. I am hopeful that together we can push back a little. Who knows, maybe we will have some fun along the way.