• Same story, different day...........year ie more of the same fiat floods the world
  • There are no markets
  • "Spreading the ideas of freedom loving people on matters regarding high finance, politics, constructionist Constitution, and mental masturbation of all types"

Oklahoma City hospital posts surgery prices online; creates bidding war

Goldhedge

Moderator
Site Mgr
Sr Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
30,653
Likes
37,524
Location
Planet Earth
#1
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.
 

madhu

Silver Member
Silver Miner
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
902
Likes
588
#2
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
 

Ensoniq

Midas Member
Midas Member
Sr Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 9, 2013
Messages
6,784
Likes
11,085
Location
North Carolina
#3
Somebody better shut this down before a epidemic of freedom breaks out
 

Joe King

Gold Member
Gold Chaser
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
5,858
Likes
5,788
Location
Instant Gratification Land
#4
Their first out-of-town patients came from Canada;
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?


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

edsl48

Silver Member
Silver Miner
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
1,545
Likes
2,371
#5
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.
 

Joe King

Gold Member
Gold Chaser
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
5,858
Likes
5,788
Location
Instant Gratification Land
#6
The big issue is that if one person doesn't pay yet is forced to offer the services by law
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.
 

madhu

Silver Member
Silver Miner
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
902
Likes
588
#7
Somebody better shut this down before a epidemic of freedom breaks out
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.
 

madhu

Silver Member
Silver Miner
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
902
Likes
588
#8
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.
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.
 

Joe King

Gold Member
Gold Chaser
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
5,858
Likes
5,788
Location
Instant Gratification Land
#9
and everyone still makes money doing procedures and billing the government.
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?
 

madhu

Silver Member
Silver Miner
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
902
Likes
588
#11
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.
 

Ensoniq

Midas Member
Midas Member
Sr Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 9, 2013
Messages
6,784
Likes
11,085
Location
North Carolina
#13

Alton

Gold Member
Gold Chaser
Joined
Apr 1, 2010
Messages
2,912
Likes
4,888
Location
Michiana
#17
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!
 

GOLDBRIX

God,Donald Trump,most in GIM2 I Trust. OTHERS-meh
Platinum Bling
Site Supporter ++
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
6,394
Likes
6,547
#18
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
 

Rusty Shackelford

Midas Member
Midas Member
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 1, 2010
Messages
6,086
Likes
4,146
Location
Northern most Southern State
#19
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.
 

Joe King

Gold Member
Gold Chaser
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
5,858
Likes
5,788
Location
Instant Gratification Land
#20
$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)
 

Rusty Shackelford

Midas Member
Midas Member
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 1, 2010
Messages
6,086
Likes
4,146
Location
Northern most Southern State
#23
Minor drain placements for colorectal issues that they are struggling to fix with out creating inconteniece issues. In year four of surgeries
 

nickndfl

Midas Member
Midas Member
Sr Site Supporter
Joined
Jan 7, 2011
Messages
12,274
Likes
10,351
Location
Florida
#24
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.
 

Joe King

Gold Member
Gold Chaser
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
5,858
Likes
5,788
Location
Instant Gratification Land
#25
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.
You mean like the way one might have a lawyer on retainer, but with a hospital and/or doctor instead?
 

nickndfl

Midas Member
Midas Member
Sr Site Supporter
Joined
Jan 7, 2011
Messages
12,274
Likes
10,351
Location
Florida
#26
You mean like the way one might have a lawyer on retainer, but with a hospital and/or doctor instead?
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.
 

goldielox1

Silver Miner
Seeker
Joined
Jun 20, 2013
Messages
973
Likes
653
#27
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.
 

nickndfl

Midas Member
Midas Member
Sr Site Supporter
Joined
Jan 7, 2011
Messages
12,274
Likes
10,351
Location
Florida
#28
All the gender queers can have their own hospital too as long as they pay for it.