Ocean Surgery Center in Torrance, California has done what surrounding hospitals in their area have declared to be impossible: they have launched a website with all-inclusive pricing. Here is a link to their good-looking site.
Take it from one who knows….this took some work and planning. This also took some guts, as those in control of this facility and their decision to launch this site did so under threats from big hospitals and carriers (likely also well-paid state officials) and are now bracing for those threats to materialize. Like any other entrepreneur, they have calculated that the benefit will outweigh the risk, the benefit partially composed of a clear conscience.
How many families, run off by a corporate hospital’s monopolistic pricing, will now see their children live normal lives after an affordable, sleep apnea curing tonsillectomy at this facility? How many families will be spared bankruptcy because those running this facility have bravely stepped up to the free market plate? How many patients will use this pricing to leverage more affordable pricing at facilities near this surgery center? How many physicians and facilities in the area will respond in a like manner, a move that like here in Oklahoma City, continues to drive down the cost of health care?
No one put a gun to the head of the owners of this surgery center to reveal their pricing. I say this to point out that as devastating as this move is to the health care syndicate, it is even more devastating to the proponents of central planning. All the bureaucrats, all the government programs in the world could not generate this move by Ocean Surgery Center. Ocean Surgery Center did this in spite of (and undoubtedly opposed by) the California health bureaucrats, the same good-ol’-boys that have passed legislation mandating healthcare price transparency in that state, only (undoubtedly, as discreetly agreed) to look the other way as their hospital pals have refused to comply.
Congratulations to the men and women of Ocean Surgery Center. While we will miss meeting so many sick and injured individuals from California at our facility here in Oklahoma, we celebrate the access to local and affordable surgical care many Californians now have.
G. Keith Smith, M.D.
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