Affordable surgery in the US? – 19 June 19
Many Americans seek crowdfunding in a country where medical bills are unaffordable and medical bankruptcies exceed 600,000 per year.
Indeed, Dr. Steven Lantier and Dr. Keith Smith, both anesthesiologists, decided together in 1997 to create the Surgery Center of Oklahoma. “We both started despising what was going on financially with the patients, cause when you look at the bankruptcy statistics — medical bankruptcies for patients now — it’s egregious,” says Dr. Steven Lantier.
In fact, Dr. Smith indicates their prices have remained steady over the last 20 years, with the exception being the three times that they lowered prices on some procedures.
“The argument that there’s this spiraling cost of health care — we don’t buy that,” he said. “We think that there are spiraling charges, almost all of which are the result of mandates from government and the extent to which the crony opportunists have taken advantage of that.”
Generally, these doctors charge patients the flat rate of a surgical procedure plus an extra 10-15% margin for profit, bypassing extra costs from hospitals and insurance companies.
According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey : 40% of employees with employer coverage express challenges paying medical bills or difficulty paying their premiums, deductibles, cost sharing, or an unexpected bill in the last 12 months. 51% of these people say they or someone in their family have missed or delayed needed care or medication because of the cost.