One Hospital Tells You What You Will Have To Pay — Before The Surgery

This article ran in Forbes January 14, 2016.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/johngoodman/2016/01/14/one-hospital-tells-you-what-you-will-have-to-pay-before-the-surgery/#2715e4857a0b7c1bff887905Five years ago, Dr. Smith was frustrated. His surgery center had the best surgeons, the best outcomes and the lowest prices (sometimes by as much as 80 percent). His lobby should have been packed. Patients should have been beating down his door. But they weren’t. In fact, the patient flow was stagnant. He was outperforming his competitors, yet no one knew it. So, Dr. Smith started posting his prices online, while at the same time calling his center “free market-loving, price-displaying and state-of-the-art.”

So what happened? Nothing happened. At least not initially. Nothing? Nothing.

Like other cities around the country, Oklahoma City is a place where employers routinely complain about health care costs. But not one of them bothered to notice that they could improve outcomes and cut their costs in half by choosing Dr. Smith’s center instead of the alternatives.

In fact, it took two whole years before the employers realized a huge opportunity was located right in their own backyard. It began with Jay Kempton, a third-party administrator whose company contracts with many of the local banks.

Fast forward to today. Not only are Kempton’s clients using Dr. Smith’s surgery center, but so is Oklahoma County and soon (if not already) Oklahoma State employees will be using it as well. The Alaska Teachers Union has offered to fly teachers and an escort all the way to Oklahoma for their surgeries. Canadians are also customers, choosing to travel to Dr. Smith’s surgery center rather than endure lengthy waits for free care back home.

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