You might need to close your eyes to picture what I’m about to write.  Of course, if you did that you couldn’t read this blog.  Oh well, try to imagine the following scene.  Senator Tom Coburn pays a visit to a large, “not for profit” hospital here in Oklahoma City.  He just shows up.  No reason stated.  You’re the hospital administrator.  What do you decide to do to impress this man?  You very stupidly list all of the new buildings and money-making projects that you are in the process of completing and all those that are on the horizon.  Wow.  Impressive.  Billions of spending.  Revenue generating, new facilities.  Incredible.  All presented with a nice suit on.  

One problem.  Coburn is there to ask you (Mr. Hospital Administrator) what you are going to do to cut spending.  Ouch.  You see, Senator Coburn sees the “not for profit” hospitals as the blood suckers they are.  You have just told him all he needs to know without his having asked a single question.  

If Senator Coburn had wanted to have a pleasant visit to Oklahoma City he would have come to our facility, one whose transparent pricing is well known to him.  He went to see one of the problem children, though.  I wonder if the hospital folks realize this even now?

G. Keith Smith, M.D.