Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Cost of Healthcare

The cost of healthcare is projected to go up, up, up, up, and up. There is no "down" (excepting the possibility of a black swan event.)

There are reasons for that, of course.

...The myth is that hospitals control these things for everyone. That is false. They have a contract with huge companies to provide whatever the company offers without a true understanding of what really works.

I had an eye toward getting the job done perfectly for the least cost. I was one of the first general surgeons to put an operating room in my office. I was able to realize great savings on drapes, equipment, and supplies. I love to operate so I could quote a very reasonable price to patients for something that was satisfying and fun to do.

Unfortunately, I couldn't put these global fee packages together for insured patients because the insurance companies didn't have a mechanism to deal with any creative new ideas.

...I could offer these global fees for patients that didn't have insurance. For example, I charged $750 for a hernia repair, ($1250 for both sides), and this included everything associated with the repair of the hernia and came with a guarantee.

The doctor also mentions a "surgery center" business which reminded me of the Wisconsin Heart Hospital--blackballed out of business by the usual local suspects.

By the way, Patrick has a wonderful essay touching on the same topic.

HT: Mish's Global

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