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Oklahoma City hospital posts surgery prices online; creates bidding war

Discussion in 'Coffee Shack (Daily News/Economy)' started by Goldhedge, Jul 14, 2017.



  1. Goldhedge

    Goldhedge Moderator Site Mgr Site Supporter

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    These guys are regular cut ups...


    Oklahoma City hospital posts surgery prices online; creates bidding war
    POSTED 10:15 PM, JULY 8, 201

    OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma City surgery center is offering a new kind of price transparency, posting guaranteed all-inclusive surgery prices online. The move is revolutionizing medical billing in Oklahoma and around the world.

    Dr. Keith Smith and Dr. Steven Lantier launched Surgery Center of Oklahoma 15 years ago, founded on the simple principle of price honesty.

    "What we've discovered is health care really doesn't cost that much," Dr. Smith said. "What people are being charged for is another matter altogether."

    Surgery Center of Oklahoma started posting their prices online about four years ago.

    Click here to see the online prices at Surgery Center of Oklahoma.

    The prices are all-inclusive quotes and they are guaranteed.

    "When we first started we thought we were about half the price of the hospitals," Dr. Lantier remembers. "Then we found out we're less than half price. Then we find out we're a sixth to an eighth of what their prices are. I can't believe the average person can afford health care at these prices."

    Their goal was to start a price war and they did.

    Their first out-of-town patients came from Canada; soon everyday Americans caught on.

    Matthew Gang, 22, tore his patella tendon, dislocating his knee-cap playing basketball earlier this year.

    Gang is from California and he is uninsured.

    Surgery in his home-state was going to be about $30,000.

    The posted price at Surgery Center of Oklahoma was $5,700, one-fifth the price.

    Matthew and his father Tom Gang flew from California to Oklahoma for surgery.

    "It was well worth it," Tom Gang said. "I need a rotator cuff surgery right now. I'm thinking about flying out there and having my surgery because it was such a positive experience for us."

    A handful of other Oklahoma medical facilities have started joining Surgery Center of Oklahoma in price transparency:
    Surgery Center of Oklahoma does accept private insurance, but the center does not accept Medicaid or Medicare.

    Dr. Smith said federal Medicare regulation would not allow for their online price menu.

    They have avoided government regulation and control in that area by choosing not to accept Medicaid or Medicare payments.

    Several medical facilities in Oklahoma are posting their prices online through The Kempton Group's website, in order to circumvent that Medicare guideline.

    The Kempton Group is a third-party administrator for self-funded health insurance plans in Oklahoma and Texas.

    Click here for a list of Oklahoma facilities which offer online pricing through The Kempton Group.

    "The key to this is really about empowering employees." Kempton Group President and CEO J. Wayne Kempton said.

    Some Hospital administrators accuse the surgery center of cherry-picking the healthiest and wealthiest patients.

    Oklahoma Hospital Association President, Craig Jones, supports transparency in theory.

    Jones calls the issue "complicated" and does not expect major metro hospitals to offer online price menus in the future.

    "Where we can reveal information that's meaningful to the patient, we very much support that; that's what hospitals need to do," Jones said. "The difficulty when you compare hospitals with surgery centers is that surgery centers, most of the work they do are elective procedures which are a bit more predictable."

    The difference in price is staggering.

    News Channel 4's Ali Meyer obtained bills from the metro's three largest medical centers: Mercy Medical Center, Integris Baptist Medical Center and OU Medical Center.

    • Mercy Hospital charged $16, 244 for a breast biopsy; the procedure will cost $3,500 at Surgery Center of Oklahoma.
    • OU Medical Center billed $20,456 for the open repair of a fracture; the procedure will cost $4,855 at Surgery Center of Oklahoma.
    • OU Medical Center billed $21,556 for a gall bladder removal surgery; the procedure will cost $5,865 at Surgery Center of Oklahoma.
    • OU Medical Center billed $23,934 for an ankle arthroscopy; the procedure will cost $3,740 at Surgery Center of Oklahoma.
    • Integris Baptist billed $37,174 for a hysterectomy; the surgery costs $8,000 at Surgery Center of Oklahoma.
    "I think there's a tendency to over-simplify the issue of price transparency but there's no doubt that hospitals are and need to be more accountable to the public," Jones said. "To try to make the services and the businesses that they carry out more understandable."

    According to the hospital association, about half of Oklahoma's hospitals are losing money.

    However, the metro's largest hospitals, which are building free-standing emergency rooms and satellite facilities, are not on that list.

    "The 'haves' seem to be doing a little bit better and the 'have-nots' seem to be doing a little bit worse," Jones said.

    However prices may be dropping because of the transparency at Surgery Center of Oklahoma.

    As patients are demanding price-matching, some hospitals relent.

    "Hospitals are having to match our prices because patients are printing their prices and holding that in one hand and holding a ticket to Oklahoma City in the other hand and asking that hospital to step up," Dr. Smith said. "So we're actually causing a deflationary effect on pricing all over the United States."

    The economics are not simple.

    But for patients who are finding ways to save on medical care, that seems to be all that matters.

    Integris Baptist responded to this story with the following statement:

    It is difficult to compare two bills, even for the same procedure, without taking into account a person’s general health, age, weight, medical history, lifestyle, blood type, religious preferences, pre-existing conditions both known and unknown and possible complications; all of which contribute to the final charge.

    Instead of offering a generic price list for medical procedures we work individually with patients to determine their financial responsibility. Through our Consumer Price Line patients can obtain charge information in advance on a variety of procedures and services offered at any INTEGRIS Health facility throughout the state of Oklahoma. This is done on a case-by-case basis taking into account insurance payments and self-pay discounts. Financial counselors are also available to help patients who may need to make payment arrangements or obtain other financial assistance to meet their obligations.

    The INTEGRIS Price Line phone number is available to consumers from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday at 405-713-4500 or toll Free 877-313-4500.
     
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  2. madhu

    madhu Silver Member Silver Miner

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    Yeah. Deflation for runaway profits and racketeering on a captive audience.

    Elective surgeries, one can shop around and can wait for a good deal and or travel to Oklahoma. But what stops a patient from getting even better discount. My septoplasty surgery, functional sinus surgery, ear surgery cost me a total of 800 USD in India, even though I pay for blue cross ppo. The insurance companies were running me around and I had it done In India. Medical tourism
    The same would have cost approximately -7-8k in OKC. and 28-32k in a hospital setting
    6 k would be my copayment. Granted you don't get luxurious rooms, basic care.

    It gets even better and controversial. If you know that you will need open heart surgery in 1-2 years, then you plan ahead, figure out which surgeon team/hospital has good track record in India and get it done ahead and out of the way. One of the surgeons just got prophylactic heart surgery. This is controversial. But the general surgeon insisted and had the heart surgeon take care of it ahead of him getting an acute event.

    There is research being done in Australia to have stents inserted prophylactic, in those who are at high risk of getting a future heart attack. Stent manufacturers are promoting this study and are looking at their bottom line

    Emergency surgeries and emergency medical care you need a good coverage for that
     
  3. Ensoniq

    Ensoniq Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    Somebody better shut this down before a epidemic of freedom breaks out
     
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  4. Joe King

    Joe King Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Anyone touting the Canadian type universal healthcare system as an option in America should take note of this fact. Ie: if it's so great up there, why on Earth would they travel all the way to Oklahoma just to pay out-of-pocket for what they supposedly get for "free" at home?


    This should tell everyone all they need to know about where the fed.gov stands on medical prices and billing. Ie: the fed.gov likes keepin' the prices up and the consumer in the dark just as much as the insurance companies do.
     
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  5. edsl48

    edsl48 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    The big issue is that if one person doesn't pay yet is forced to offer the services by law then someone else has to pay more to cover the costs of the one that wont pay.
    Welcome to the world of USA health care where it's not the cost of the services but rather the cost of the services plus an additional cost to cover the costs of servicing the FSA's services.
     
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  6. Joe King

    Joe King Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    They aren't required to offer all services by law. All they are required to do is to stabilize the patient to the point they can be gotten out the door.

    Stabilize does not mean, "full range of treatment" that those with good ins or ability to pay would receive.
     
  7. madhu

    madhu Silver Member Silver Miner

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    This freedom makes money for the new owners. The old dinosaur hospital system with bloated pensions to nurses and other administrators need a reason to enter into bankruptcy.
     
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  8. madhu

    madhu Silver Member Silver Miner

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    But the fear of lawyers have made the gullible stupid doctor to practice CYA medicine and order million dollar work up for everything. The patient will get everything taken care of because the hospitals and everyone still makes money doing procedures and billing the government.
     
  9. Joe King

    Joe King Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Well, not at the Surgery Center of Oklahoma they won't. Because they don't take medicare/aid.
    ...and in many cases, neither will the ins companies as the Surgery Center of Oklahoma usually charges low enough prices that it's oftentimes cheaper than the deductible when using insurance.

    Hopefully their business model will spread, forcing more providers to actually compete on price. The only way to get costs under control is to create an environment that encourages lower prices. If there is never an incentive to lower prices, they'll definitely just keep going up.
    ...but hey, maybe the ins companies will lobby the gov to make the posting of prices illegal. That'd fix it, huh?
     
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  10. nickndfl

    nickndfl Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    I found a coupon in the PennySaver for 10% off Anal Bleaching. I would like a nice pink asshole again. I think I'm gonna go for it.
     
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  11. madhu

    madhu Silver Member Silver Miner

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    http://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/marketmaker.asp

    Who are the market makers in the health care industry?
    Demand =Patients through insurance company./. Government or private insurance.

    Supply=Hospitals real estate
    doctors
    Medical equipment supplies, device manufacturers
    Big pharma

    The market price ideally would have been some equilibrium. However the real inflation in health care outpaced wages from 1970s ( my 2 cents). HMO, insurance and all were invented to hide this little fact.
    Health care still got delivered at high expense on Other Peoples Money (OPM).

    Now we are running out of OPM. Can we go back to the 1970 free market solutions. Affordability for millions is lost. The wages have been eroded by inflation.

    The prices for insurance will rise inflation and the cost of delivery of the service will have to come way down, deflation. If something overshoots, bankruptcy game over.
     
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  12. Silver

    Silver Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Anything to please your boyfriend, huh?
     
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  13. Ensoniq

    Ensoniq Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    Shots fired
     
  14. nickndfl

    nickndfl Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    No, I don't swing that way. I just want my anus to take the best selfies.
     
  15. Someone_else

    Someone_else Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Going into politics?
     
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  16. nickndfl

    nickndfl Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    How dare you with the insult!
     
  17. Alton

    Alton Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    So now that capitalism has been unleashed in the Oklahoma medical community will it spread to the rest of the country? Oh the HORROR!!! All repuke efforts to make Oblahblahcare even worse will have been in vain!
     
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  18. GOLDBRIX

    GOLDBRIX God,Donald Trump,most in GIM2 I Trust. OTHERS-meh Site Supporter Platinum Bling

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    Oneway to help is write a "Letter to the Editor" piece to your local birdcage liner.

    Do Not Plagiarize.
    Newspapers are big at poo-pooing and some down right ignore locals that touch subjects prepared with facts yet "borrowed" without providing the proper credit(s).

    OBTW, It helps to be close to Regional Medical Areas, Cities with more than one or two hospitals.

    FWIW
    DYODD
     
  19. Rusty Shackelford

    Rusty Shackelford Midas Member Midas Member

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    Those prices are similar to the in network rates I am charged with insurance. Sure I got premiums to pay but once I meet my $6000 deduct I am free and clear.

    In other words you ain't cheating the system. This is just repackaging the same stuff with a fancy bow.
     
  20. Joe King

    Joe King Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    $6000 deductible plus how many thousands in premiums every year? Unless you're having several surgeries per year for multiple years, the Oklahoma surgery center is still the way to go.
    ...and if the surgery's total cost is less than a deductible, you would save the thousands in premiums. That alone would more than pay for next years surgery. (if one were needed)
     
  21. Rusty Shackelford

    Rusty Shackelford Midas Member Midas Member

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    3-4 a year.
     
  22. Joe King

    Joe King Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Then you my friend, are in a very small minority of people. Most people don't require even one surgery per year. Let alone 3 or 4 every year.
    ...and I'm sorry to hear you're in such bad shape.
     
  23. Rusty Shackelford

    Rusty Shackelford Midas Member Midas Member

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    Minor drain placements for colorectal issues that they are struggling to fix with out creating inconteniece issues. In year four of surgeries
     
  24. nickndfl

    nickndfl Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    Why not do a massive overhaul of tort reform first in a separate bill. Then allow regional co-ops where you can pay premiums directly to a hospital for most of your needs? Cut out the middleman entirely.
     
  25. Joe King

    Joe King Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    You mean like the way one might have a lawyer on retainer, but with a hospital and/or doctor instead?
     
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  26. nickndfl

    nickndfl Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    It sounds like a good idea to me. Premiums are much less volatile and a hospital can plan around a certain revenue stream. And everybody pays, no deadbeats.
     
  27. goldielox1

    goldielox1 Silver Miner Seeker

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    Self-insurance is the way to go. If you're in the top 60% healthwise its a no brainer. Put your insurance premium into metals and just sell as needed.
     
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  28. nickndfl

    nickndfl Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    All the gender queers can have their own hospital too as long as they pay for it.
     

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