Some Oklahoma doctors are trying to reform the health care industry by offering cutting waste from surgical services and making costs transparent. They founded Surgery Center of Oklahoma. Reason.tv has produced a video about it. Here is what they have to say at their YouTube page.
Three years ago, Dr. Keith Smith, co-founder and managing partner of the
Surgery Center of Oklahoma, took an initiative that would only be
considered radical in the health care industry: He posted online a list
of prices for 112 common surgical procedures. The 51-year-old Smith, a
self-described libertarian, and his business partner, Dr. Steve Lantier,
founded the Surgery Center 15 years ago, after they became
disillusioned with the way patients were treated at St. Anthony Hospital
in Oklahoma City, where the two men worked as anesthesiologists. In
1997, Smith and Lantier bought the shell of a former surgical center
with the aim of creating a for-profit facility that could deliver
first-rate care at a fraction of what traditional hospitals charge.
The major cause of exploding U.S. heath care costs is the third-party payer system, a text-book concept in which A buys goods or services from B that are paid for by C. Because private insurance companies or the government generally pick up most of the tab for medical services, patients don't have the normal incentive to seek out value.
The Surgery Center's consumer-driven model could become increasingly common as Americans look for alternatives to the traditional health care market—an unintended consequence of Obamacare. Patients may have no choice but to look outside the traditional health care industry in the face of higher costs and reduced access to doctors and hospitals.