Surgery Center of Oklahoma Blog

September 15, 2011

Canadians get better deal in Oklahoma…than Oklahomans!

Filed under: Uncategorized — surgerycenterok @ 3:07 pm

The Canadian surgical broker, Richard Baker, arrives this afternoon in Oklahoma City for a three day stay.  He will meet with various surgeons and physicians with whom he has had dealings over the last 5 years.  Rick and I have become friends, initially due to our mutual desire to help the patients he steers our way.  He also liked the fact that when he called my mobile number, I answered, then usually gave him a price for the requested procedure right then.

There is not enough space on this blog site to relay even a partial list of the horror stories he and I have encountered due to the rationing of care north of our border.  Oklahoma City has become his preferred destination for patient referrals.  Why?  Because the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the physician community here.  Physicians, like the partners at The Surgery Center of Oklahoma, have put their money and capital at risk to provide a surgical experience for their patients that is second to none.  After all, if the patient care conditions aren’t exactly like the physician owners want them, who’s to blame?  The doctors are in complete control of the facility and the staff.  The doctors are in complete control of what the facility charges for this or that procedure.  There are many physician-owned and controlled facilities in Oklahoma and we compete with each other.  As I’ve said in previous blogs, it is the patient that benefits (both in terms of the quality of care they receive and the bruise to their pocketbook) when businesses compete in the free and open market.

Big “not-wanting-to-make-a-profit” hospitals work in a different way.  They make deals and enter into contractual arrangements.  These deals and contracts often times shut out their competitors, freeing them from the market competition and discipline any other business faces on a daily basis.  This lack of market competition has affected quality of care and blistered those paying hospital bills.  This model of propping up the profits of the giant hospital corporations is not sustainable and fortunately the market is in the process of crushing this corporate scam.  We believe that price transparency (like our posting of prices on our website) is like the rock in David’s slingshot.  Our posting of prices has revealed to the buyers of health care (whether self-insured companies or individual patients) that the highest quality of care is available for less than half the amount many insurance companies are contracted to pay our “not-wanting-to-make-a-profit” hospital friends.

Something else revealed:  Canadian’s are receiving their surgical care in Oklahoma City for a fraction of the cost that most Oklahomans are paying. I think that most folks are tired of the same broken arrangements and deals that benefit the usual suspects and are clamoring for an alternative.  The good news is that the market always responds to challenges like this and usually succeeds… unless some government thug gets in the way.

G. Keith Smith, M.D.

  • Share/Bookmark

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress