I blog about free markets in medical care and transparent pricing.

 

Benjamin Rush Institute at Free Market Medical Association

"What if they passed healthcare reform and nobody came?" This is the title of the piece on the Benjamin Rush Institute’s website about the inaugural meeting of the Free Market Medical Association.  You can read it here.  While we were gratified by the warm reception and rave reviews our meeting received from the participants, none was more gratifying than that of the medical students attending our event.  My compliments to the students who attended and will watch their bright futures unfold as will all of those at the convention who met them.

G. Keith Smith, M.D.

www.surgerycenterok.com

www.marketmedicine.org

Free Market Medical Association: My Post-Convention Thoughts

Shortly after the first Free Market Medical Association convention, I wrote this piece, a general summary or wrap up of the meeting and its significance.  You can read it here.

G. Keith Smith, M.D.

www. surgerycenterok.com

www.marketmedicine.org

Many Thanks to the Fearless Brandon Dutcher

My friend, Brandon Dutcher, was kind enough to take two days out of his busy schedule to act as master of ceremonies at our sold out Free Market Medical Association convention recently.  While the substance of our meeting has received the highest praise, the flawless event flow was due to the efforts of Jay Kempton’s team (special mention, Megan Freedman) and Brandon’s vibrant command from the podium.  

On Brandon’s blog (here), he relays a transcript of a radio interview about our convention with the Franklin Institute’s Patrick McGuigan, a long time fan of the free market medical movement.  For a recent example of  Brandon’s gift as a hard hitting writer, here is a piece he wrote for the Mises Institute called, “What the Feds and Bernie Madoff Have in Common.” 

Thanks once again Brandon for all that you and your colleagues at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs do to demonstrate the wisdom of the market in all areas of the economy. 

G. Keith Smith, M.D.

www.surgerycenterok.com

www.marketmedicine.org

Charles Sauer Discusses Free Market Health Care

Charles Sauer, co-founder of the Free Market Medical Association (along with Jay Kempton and yours truly) discusses free market health care and our association on the Daily Ledger, here.  Thank you Charles for all that you are doing.

G. Keith Smith, M.D.

www.surgerycenterok.com

www.marketmedicine.org

Free Market Medical Association Inaugural Speech

I thought some of you might be interested in the remarks I delivered at this first and sold out conference, one which proves to be even larger next year. This gathering and exchange of ideas represent a nightmare for those who would maintain or increase their grip on the health industry rather than allow the random but ordered marketplace to rule.  The link to my speech is here.

G. Keith Smith, M.D.

For more information about free market healthcare visit:

www.surgerycenterok.com

www.marketmedicine.org

Tom George of KOKH “Gets it.”

Tom George of KOKH, Oklahoma City’s local Fox affiliate, interviewed me yesterday, an interview you can see here.  One thing I would like to highlight is that the questions Tom asked me were uniquely different in that they were directed at the price transparency “movement” rather than the transparent pricing at just our facility.  This subtle change is an indication that the argument that upfront medical pricing is an impossibility has now been dismissed, recognized clearly now as a stall tactic and a lie.  Those who reject honest medical pricing do so not because they can’t, but because they don’t want to.  The widespread adoption of upfront pricing is now taken for granted!

Our Free Market Medical Association convention this past weekend (about which I will have more to say) highlighted those who are providing honest pricing because it is the right thing to do.  Those who are reluctant will follow suit or face the loss of business and patients to those who are embracing price honesty and market discipline.  The grip of the health system cartels will continue to unravel as more and more patients travel to fairly priced facilities to receive their care.  This “domestic medical tourism” has been fueled primarily by self-funded employers who happily pay for travel and lodging for their employees, rather than expose their health plan to bankruptcy by the “not for profit” hospital systems.

What an exciting “movement.”  Tom George’s well-done story paints transparent pricing as the movement it has become, a subtle but important point, one which will not be lost on the early adopters of this new approach to healthcare delivery.

G. Keith Smith, M.D.

The Inaugural Free Market Medical Association Convention

Tomorrow afternoon, here in downtown Oklahoma City, the most revolutionary health care thinkers and doers in the country will gather at the sold out first annual convention of the Free Market Medical Association.  The historic Skirvin Hotel will host this two day event, one which will begin the process of uniting the buyers and the sellers of health care, void of any interfering intermediaries.  The early adopters of the various free market delivery models are traveling here from all over the country, evidence that this movement is already widespread, an indication that the price transparency movement is now unstoppable.  

We plan to video the entire event, and I will share these historic lectures as they become available to me.  The free market health movement has begun and this meeting represents the beginning of the coordination of the buyers and sellers, a coordination that will result in a deflationary trend in health care pricing that will benefit us all.

G. Keith Smith, M.D.

For more information about free market health care visit:

www.surgerycenterok.com

www.marketmedicine.org

Squandering Taxpayer Loot

If you are looking for proof of the fact that the wonderful folks in D.C. are more interested in lining the pockets of their pals than demonstrating good stewardship of the loot from the robbery of taxation, look no further than this article.  The folks at CMS (Medicare) have interestingly decided to pay physicians not employed by a hospital system amounts so low that doctors in record numbers are opting out of Medicare completely.  Simultaneously, CMS is double paying for physician services provided by physicians employed by hospital systems.  If you suspect that this is an effort to drive as many physicians out of private practice as possible, you go to the head of the class.

Many physicians are succumbing to this pressure, exacerbated, as well by the purchase expense of the mandatory electronic medical records systems and the American Medical Association’s new “ICD-10” code mess.  Many doctors are not following this script, however, either completely retiring from medical practice or seceding from the system altogether, refusing payment from any third parties whatsoever.

The deliberate and intended setup is clear:  fewer doctors available to see patients and many of these physicians are now salaried hospital employees whose compensation is not greatly affected by the numbers of patients they see.  Any guesses about what this looks like 5 years from now?  Countries with single payer systems will all tell you that rationing care will inevitably balance any health care budget.

Very paradoxically, these efforts will and are already beginning to backfire, an alternative and free market model of health care delivery emerging to satisfy those both:

1)waiting in lines and

2)the new healthcare consumers who are motivated shoppers due to their new and giant insurance policy deductibles.  

For all their work to crush the market, for all their efforts to destroy the private practice of medicine, one “good news” thing remains true:  the corrupt and central planners never get it right.

G. Keith Smith, M.D.

For more information about free market health care, visit:

www.surgerycenterok.com

www.marketmedicine.org

HIPPA for you, but not for “them”

This article, which must be read to the very end proves that not only does the Obamacare website have major security issues, but that the incorruptible wonderful well-meaning folks in Washington who care so much about our health and running our lives knew this when the site was launched.  Advised about the likely security breaches, those in charge regardless gave the go ahead.  The end of the article shows in detail that the priorities and concerns of the Obamacrats clearly included everything but the welfare and privacy of individuals violated and damaged by the security breaches that were anticipated.  Oh, and don’t neglect the details of their cover up and the claim that national security precluded release of this information, a report by the government’s own GAO.

Before you read this article, I’ll warn you that a stiff drink will help you get through it, particularly if you read the previous link. Herein lies the tale of a victim of an Obamacare breach and the little known fact that well over half of all identity thefts now arise from information on the Healthcare.gov site.  

Once again, any individual in the health care industry that demonstrates the slightest carelessness with patient privacy will likely be bankrupted by HIPPA fines.  But if you are a government apparatchik, well, no amount of recklessness will get you in hot water.  What is criminal for you and I is standard operating procedure for those who claim that our welfare is central to their mission.  As these articles demonstrate, no lie is too great, no scam too bold for those state agents who maintain that our protection, security, well-being and health are their primary concern.

G. Keith Smith, M.D.

For more information about free market health care visit:

www.surgerycenterok.com

www.marketmedicine.org