I’ve mentioned the Surgery Center of Oklahoma several times before as an option for self-pay patients who need to know what the real price is for treatment. Too often the uninsured can’t find out ahead of time what a procedure will cost, and then wind up having to pay wildly inflated ‘chargemaster’ prices that are typically 3-5 times more than what health insurance companies pay.
Surgery Center of Oklahoma not only posts their prices, but the prices are real prices, giving self-pay patients the same prices that insurers pay. For the uninsured self-pay patient, a place like Surgery Center of Oklahoma is a great option.
Last week Good Morning America profiled the Surgery Center of Oklahoma and how one patient, who had insurance but was still looking at thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs, was able to use the posted prices to get a better deal for himself without even having to travel to the Center.
When Ira Horner, 62, found out how much his knee surgery for a torn meniscus was expected to cost, he worried that he would spend the rest of his life in debt.
…Horner had health insurance through his employer, but it was unclear as to what he would ultimately be expected to pay.
After talking to friends and nurses at the medical center where he was being treated, Horner estimated the surgery would cost at least $16,000, and he’d end up paying about 20 percent of that plus his $1,000 deductible.
But his doctor never gave him an actual number, he said…
Mr. Horner, who had what a lot of people would consider ‘good’ insurance, was looking at paying about $4,200 out of pocket for his surgery!
[Horner] was planning to schedule his surgery when his insurance administrator held an informational session about certain providers in the state that would provide less expensive care for certain procedures. If Horner picked one of these providers, the insurance company would pick up the entire tab.
One provider was the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, an ambulatory surgical center 140 miles away from Horner’s home in Woodward, which would perform the knee surgery for approximately $3,400 total…
Horner immediately went back to his doctor and gave him an ultimatum: Either work out a lower price plan with my insurance company or lose me as a patient.
It worked: Horner’s insurance administrator worked out a lower price with his original medical center and Horner ended up only paying the $1,000 deductible for his surgery…
As I’ve mentioned before, while The Self-Pay Patient blog is primary meant to be a resource for the uninsured or those with high-deductible health insurance, even those with ‘comprehensive’ insurance can benefit from the information in the blog (or any other source, for that matter). Facilities like the Surgery Center of Oklahoma are not just benefiting self-pay patients who are uninsured or have high deductible health insurance, but also those that are ‘fully’ insured as well.