Hello. Dr. Keith Smith with you – Surgery Center of Oklahoma. Thank you for joining us in this video blog series.
I would like for everyone to think about a healthcare journey as a bridge. And there are guides to help each patient cross this bridge. The bridge can be treacherous because the delivery of healthcare is an art and a science and there are potholes and there are definitely holes in the bridge – a slip through which can be devastating.
There are guides out there out there, though, that can help their patients find their way safely to the other side. Sometimes these guides take many forms. It can be a third-party administrator for a large company’s health plan. It can be a good-guy broker who helps patients and company health plans find the right value providers. It can be a physician like my friend, Chris Paskowski, who when asked, ‘How do you decide where you operate on patients, at which facility?’ he said, ‘I take them where it think they’ll get the best quality, and where I think they will not be financially devastated or bankrupt.’
These are guides, these are people who are committed to helping patients cross the bridge safely. Under the bridge are what I call the trolls. These are people who extract money out of the process and deliver no value.
Many times these are the brokers in healthcare – those who, in a company health plan, actually recommend insurance carriers and PPO plans that are not good for the company but are very good for the brokers and their undisclosed commissions.
There are also many other people under the bridge. There are hospitals that are trying to see what they can get away with, fleecing and bankrupting patients every single day, all the while claiming to not make a profit. These are the trolls in healthcare and there are many more. There are the good guys – those who provide value – and the trolls under the bridge.
I think it’s important that we acknowledge who is who and increasingly look for them and ask them, ‘How do you bring value? What is it that you provide? What am I getting for what I’m paying you?’
Increasingly and fortunately, people are asking these questions here in the United States. At the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, we are trying to generate and deliver maximum value and we are happy for any and all who would join us in this effort. And if the last Free Market Medical Association meeting was any judge, there are many, many who have done so.
Thank you for joining us. We’ll see you next time.