Hello. Dr. Keith Smith with you – Surgery Center of Oklahoma. Thank you for joining us in this video blog series.


I’d like to talk a little bit today about what the response has been of big corporate healthcare to our having posting prices online. I mentioned before that some big hospitals are putting prices online for people to see, but there are far too many asterisks by them now, which describe all the things that are not included. But I think that will improve as the market pressures continue.


We’re also seeing the hospitals getting together with their carrier friends – the big insurance carriers that want nothing to do with our high quality and pricing. We’re seeing the carriers and hospitals get together and basically, in the form of accountable care organizations, try to compete with what we’re doing here at the Surgery Center.


Self-funded businesses and many others are being told that these new accountable care organizations – these entities that are hospitals and big carriers working together – can actually match our pricing or even have better pricing.


Of course when all the dust settles, all the other pricing that is not being considered will go up so high that ultimately, these accountable care organizations will be even more profitable than they’re forecasting them to be now.


The question I would have if I were a self-funded employer, for instance, if a big hospital and a big carrier got together in my office and said, ‘we can match or beat that Surgery Center of Oklahoma’ …The question I would have: ‘then why have you been doing what you’ve been doing to me for decades, for all of these years? How is it that now you can match this pricing? How is it that now you can charge a tenth of what you’ve been charging me all these years?’


If you went to any sort of business – let’s say a car dealer – and suddenly, they could do for a tenth what they’ve been doing for you all of those years. Would you go back? Wouldn’t it cross your mind that you had been fleeced for a long time and this is, indeed, someone that you do not want to do business with? That is the question I would ask.


So if you’re in the self-funded community or anywhere else and suddenly you see this very reasonable pricing, know where it has come from. It is coming from competitive pressures and that is a good thing and some people will be dragged kicking and screaming to this new healthcare way of doing business.


Thank you for joining us. We will see you next time.