At the bottom of the written version of this blog, there will be a link provided to a very important graph, one which shows the rate of rise of healthcare spending in the United States over time, the rate of rise of the number of administrators in healthcare over time in the United States, and also the rate of rise of the number physicians in the United States over time.
The physician graph is pretty flat. There’s not a lot more physicians over this period of time. The rate of rise of healthcare costs, the slope of that rate of rise, is almost exactly equal to the rate of rise of the number of administrators. This is a fascinating graph and it’s provided by the Henry Kaiser Foundation.
So while we’re talking about the runaway costs of healthcare, I think it’s also important to note that when we put our prices online, prices are radically lower than what the so-called not-for-profit hospitals charge – prices that are less, almost in every case, than what Medicaid pays the local hospitals here in Oklahoma.
I think it’s important to know who did not show up. The big insurance carriers did not show up. They’ve wanted nothing to do with us since the day we opened in 1997. Not only did they not show up, but patients came here in spite of us being out of their network. Patients came here because their out-of-pocket experience was better coming to the Surgery Center of Oklahoma than actually using their insurance benefit at an in-network provider.
Not only did the insurance companies not show up and not put us in their network, but they also sent very threatening letters to physicians who brought patients here out of the network, saying they would kick them out, when all the physician was doing was not only acting as an unapologetic advocate for their patients’ health, but also their financial well-being.
There is something terribly, terribly wrong with healthcare in the United States. It is far too expensive. The Unaffordable Care Act appears to have just made it worse.
I thought I would bring these thoughts to you and I would advise you to look at the graph that I’ve provided a link to at the bottom of the written version of this blog. It is very telling and very compelling.
Thank you for joining me. We will see you next time.