Not Good: Deductibles are skyrocketing again next year. Here’s how to beat a rigged system.

Jordan Hackworth 12/02/2016
Dr. Andrea Collins and Casey Jones implant a new intraocular lens after cataract removal.

Dr. Andrea Collins and Casey Jones implant a new intraocular lens after cataract removal. At MCSC, we offer the latest in surgical implants without heavy markups.

Last week saw yet another study stating things no one will be surprised to hear —  Out-of-pocket health care expenses for Americans are exploding.  Shifting more and more costs to consumers is the next step as we continue to ineffectively deal with the health care crisis.. Almost all Americans (81%) now face a deductible, and they are rising faster than ever. If you find yourself in that situation, what can you do?

For starters, don’t throw away good money! Before you buy any health care service (see a doctor, get a surgery, buy a prescription) you deserve to know at least two things- what does it cost and what are the relevant outcomes. It’s your right to know, even if your insurance is paying! We happily publish such information on our website. There, you’ll see that while our prices are a small fraction of those charged at most hospitals, our patient satisfaction scores are through the roof.

Here’s one small illustration showing why patients love Charlottesville’s premier surgery center, MCSC. Dr. Morton, one of our eye surgeons, told us this morning about a patient who needed a special lens for cataract surgery. In most cases, special lenses are not covered by insurance and the extra expense must be paid by the patient. In this case, the patient was told the lens would cost $2100 if implanted during surgery at a local profit-driven hospital (in addition to the usual surgery costs!). At MCSC, we offer the exact same lens for $750 (essentially our cost). We don’t want to fleece people with unjustifiable mark ups. And we don’t.

Surgical Technologists Julie Woodson and Latisha Hoge await the start of a new procedure.

Surgical Technologists Julie Woodson and Latisha Hoge await the start of a new procedure.

How do others get away with this? It’s simple… because they can. Nobody calls them out on it. People pay it because they don’t believe they have a choice, and for far too long, it has been paid without question.  Now is the time to recognize that YOUR dollars are the ones being spent, and you have the right to get the information you need to make an informed decision.  This includes “How much does this cost?”  If you get a delay or a refusal to answer this question, you have a right to keep looking for care.

Some people assume their insurance company will fight to keep prices down. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. If health care costs rise, insurance premiums go up and the insurance company makes more money! Remember, the amount of profit made by insurance companies is fixed by law as a proportion of premiums collected. In other words, the only way for insurance companies to increase profits is to raise premiums. Thus, insurance companies love it when prices go up.

Dr. George Leisure is our fearless medical director. Fully trained in Internal Medicine and Anesthesiology, Dr. Leisure is our go-to guy for complicated medical questions.

Since our founding in 2003, Dr. George Leisure has been our fearless medical director. Fully trained in Internal Medicine and Anesthesiology, Dr. Leisure is the go-to guy for complicated medical questions.

Enough already! Only educated consumers can fix this mess. Share this post so people will know that they have an alternative. Transparent pricing! Demand it and let’s finally get some accountability in healthcare pricing.

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4 comments

  • Bobbie Jean Thompson
    12/10/2016 at 4:45 am

    Doctor George, Your hospital is THE BEST! When I had my foot operated on all the nurses and doctors were wonderful and so caring! We find you to be the most thoughtful, caring person we have ever known! I pray the rigged system of health care can be corrected. You are a credit to this world and the Monticello Surgery Center is very blessed to have you as their director! Our very best wishes!!! Bobbie & Ronnie Thompson

    Reply
    • Doc
      12/22/2016 at 1:14 pm

      At last, someone who comes to the heart of it all

      Reply
  • Voncile
    12/22/2016 at 12:49 pm

    Glad I’ve finally found something I agree with!

    Reply
  • Jerry & Jan Mintun
    04/01/2017 at 5:06 pm

    Dr. Grant & the Monticello Community Surgery Center, along with the entire staff, could not have been more qualified, helpful & accommodating in our pursuit of a successful left knee lateral meniscectomy… especially one which we were willing to travel from Charlotte, NC (called medical tourism). We arranged lodging for 2 nights (one before & one after surgery that allowed for personal visits/checkups with Dr. Grant day before and day after surgery) at a local hotel and were on the road for the 4.5 hour ride home the day after surgery following a checkup.
    With the current health insurance situation of high premiums & high deductibles, we opted for transparent bundled pricing and self pay for this surgery and couldn’t be more satisfied with the results & experience. We were so fortunate to have found Dr. Grant and have already shared this information with our friend’s and family!

    Reply

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