“What Happens When Doctors Only Take Cash”? Everybody, Especially Patients, Wins

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Time has a great story about bringing basic market forces to medicine. Titled “What Happens When Doctors Only Take Cash,” the article uses the Oklahoma City Surgery Center as a model for a different way of doing business. Co-founded by the outspoken libertarian Keith Smith and Steven Lantier, two anesthesiologists, the center takes no insurance whatsoever. Instead, they take cash only and advertise and guarantee their prices and services. The result is pretty goddamned amazing…

The all-inclusive price for every operation is listed on the website. A rotator-cuff repair for the shoulder costs $8,260. A surgical procedure for carpal tunnel syndrome is $2,750. Setting and casting a basic broken leg: $1,925….

The Surgery Center would charge $19,000 for [patient Art Villa’s] whole-knee replacement, a discount of nearly 50% on what Villa expected to be charged at his local hospital. And that price would include everything from airfare to the organization’s only facility, in Oklahoma City, to medications and physical therapy. If unforeseen complications arose during or after the procedure, the Surgery Center would cover those costs. Villa wouldn’t see another bill.

Read the full article at Reason.com.

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