A hospital-employed physician revealed to me this week that her husband, who was on her hospital-provided insurance, had suffered a knee injury that required surgery and wanted to see a well-known, local surgeon that worked at our facility.  They were told that their “insurance” would pay for his surgery under one condition: the surgery must be done by a hospital employed orthopedist at the employer’s hospital.  

He had his surgery at the big hospital.  I showed her our website price for what he had done and asked her if their bill was more than what we display.  She next said something I am still having a hard time believing.

“Your price is less than our out-of-pocket for having it done at the hospital.”  

Think about what she said.  She and her husband would have been financially better off coming to our facility to the surgeon they wanted to see and paying cash rather than taking the “insured” path at their employer’s facility.  I’m thinking that this was pretty aggressive “not for profit-seeking” from one of the hospital’s own employees.  She’s rethinking lots of things now.

G. Keith Smith, M.D.