Healthcare articles can be awfully boring, and it gets even worse once someone mentions health policy. Snooooooze. But, sadly we spend more on healthcare than almost anything else. It needs to be talked about. So, this is the first of many posts that explore health policy as it relates to our central Virginia community. Steel yourself, get comfortable and let’s talk briefly about health care pricing. It could save you thousands if you ever need surgery! Even if you have insurance, rising deductibles and co-pays easily make it worth your while to ask some questions before you ever have surgery.
To start, why is healthcare so crazy expensive? It may not be what you think. Unless you’re thinking “bloated bureaucracy.” When you visit a doctor, or have a procedure performed, you typically interact with a handful of staff, nurses and one or two doctors. What you don’t see, behind the scenes, is an ever-growing tangle of administration that has little to do with patient care. This shadowy network sucks up billions and billions of our healthcare dollar and it’s growing at an astounding rate.
This unseen network speaks a mystical language that leaves miles and miles of cryptic paper trails but for most of us is still nearly incomprehensible. It is made up of endless intermediaries living in a strange world filled with mentions of coding, preauthorizations, denials, insurance claim forms, diagnostic codes, procedural CPTs, referrals, authorizations, payment delays, EOB reviews, claim denials and resubmissions. All the confusion and hidden obstacles have been very deliberately created to cheat you out of your hard-earned cash. It’s horrible, it’s unnecessary and it gets in the way of patient care. And everybody knows it. And it’s not getting better.
So what can be done? This is a question we’ve spent a good deal of time researching, discussing and contemplating at Monticello Community Surgery Center and, for part of it, we’ve found a wonderful solution! Transparent Pricing. At it’s simplest, it means that when you need a service from us, we’ll tell you what the price is upfront. That price includes everything – facility fee, surgeon fee and anesthesiologist fee (some implants may cost extra). So how does this help save you money? Simple – when we set an upfront price, it allows us to cut out all the fat from the bureaucratic middle. The overall effect is phenomenal – our transparent price is a small fraction of what you (or your insurance company) will pay at the hospital! The best part is – surgery happens at our accredited, modern center where our incredible staff support you through a surgical experience that routinely exceeds national benchmarks in both quality and satisfaction.
A recent patient provided us with a wonderful example. She needed a knee arthroscopy. Because she had a large deductible, she decided to call around town to learn prices. After a bit of delay and attempted distraction, she finally pinned down two local hospitals for their knee arthroscopic price: $12,000 and $16,000, which didn’t include the surgeons and anesthesiologists fee! When she called us for the price, it was easy to give an immediate answer- $4400, all inclusive (facility+surgeon+anesthesiologist). We publish our prices on our website for the world to see! Transparency – it’s a beautiful thing. This is the future of healthcare – empowering patients by informing them of true costs and real outcomes.
If you or someone you know may need surgery, please give us a call. We’d love to discuss options, make referrals or answer questions. You now have choice. You can choose the comfort and quality of Charlottesville’s Premiere Surgery Center AND save a bundle in the process. Let’s talk!