I blog about free markets in medical care and transparent pricing.
Check this article out. Trudy Lieberman, an associate professor of public health has written what logicians refer to as a “straw man” piece. She compares our facility’s pricing to….well…she compares us to Nirvana…where everything is free!
Now I understand that a lot of folks read this blog, KevinMD. I suppose that lots of folks read blog posts like Ms. Lieberman’s and see her “point.” What the hell is her point?
We have said that “this is what we do and this is what we charge for it.” Patients have come to our facility from all over the planet, having figured out that the “trust” they placed in their local physician was misplaced, as their local physician many times had conflicts when referring them to the hospital that charged ten times or more what we have listed on our website.
Here is a quote from her blog:
"Are you going to say, “Hey, doc, I can’t afford the hospital you use, I’m going somewhere else?” What does that do for trust—that intangible thing that’s so important for healing? To me, the health care marketplace advocates have hardly considered that relationships and confidence might be as important as price."
We haven’t had to consider it. We put our prices out there and the patients started showing up.
A few comments about our payment arrangements. We have had patients cancel personal checks they wrote to us. We have had patients call their credit card company only to tell them that they had been fraudulently charged by us. In an effort to keep our prices low, not having to pad for those who would stiff us, we have elected to make certain that we are paid with cash, cashier’s check or wire. That’s it.
$6495 for a bladder repair? Compare that to $42,000 for the same surgery at a local “not for profit” hospital! There really is no response to Ms. Lieberman other than this: the fastest growing part of our business are those folks who are anxious to take advantage of our pricing. Really don’t think anything else needs to be said.
G. Keith Smith, M.D.