Orthopedic surgery center in New York City begins offering cash prices

For the past several months I’ve cited the Surgery Center of Oklahoma several times as a place where self-pay patients can go to get real prices that are ‘all-inclusive,’ meaning the fee listed covers the entire procedure, and patients don’t have to worry about added fees of $550 for a couple of bags of saline solution or any of the other countless charges that hospital patients often wind up having to pay on top of the surgical, anesthesiologist, and facility fee.

The reason I’ve pointed people to the Surgery Center of Oklahoma is pretty simple – there haven’t been many other places I knew of that offered the same type of transparent, package pricing. There are a few other facilities as well, like Daytime Outpatient Surgical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, and Good Shepard Medical Center in Longview, Texas.

A few other places come close, not listing their cash prices online but giving patients the opportunity to call and talk with a financial representative and get package pricing, places like the Tucson Medical Center in Arizona and Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan (Henry Ford’s program is largely aimed at Canadians coming south seeking treatment, but they work with U.S. self-pay patients too).

Up until now, that’s been it, at least that I knew of. Many other hospitals offer some sort of discount off of their fees, or will negotiate with patients, but there aren’t a lot of other options for self-pay patients to get real, up-front package pricing for hospital and surgical care.

But yesterday someone pointed me in the direction of Regency Healthcare in New York City, a surgery center that performs orthopedic procedures like a partial knee replacement, arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, and Achilles tendon repair, all at a single, transparent price.  

The center, owned and operated by Dr. Robert Haar, explains their decision to offer real prices this way:

Regency Healthcare’s Transparent Pricing Model was born out of simplicity.  Too often procedure costs are rife with hidden fees and extra costs.  These additional costs often add thousands of dollars to already overpriced procedures and the patient is responsible to bear this financial burden.  Even those who are insured often find themselves surprised by the final costs of their procedures.  Our cash pay model allows those who are uninsured or members of self-funded plans to control costs and still benefit from the highest caliber medical care.

Regency Healthcare has opted to include all costs into its Transparent Pricing Model.  This means no extra costs for anesthesia and facility fees.  Because all of Regency Healthcare’s procedures are performed on an outpatient basis there is no need for overnight hospital stays.  These hospital stays  often contribute to the thousands of extra dollars added on to the final costs.

Regency Healthcare’s surgical facility is physician owned and operated and as a result is able to dictate the costs of procedures.  This eliminates the bureaucracy that is often involved with determining medical costs.  Also, because Regency Healthcare is physician owned and operated we are able to control our overhead costs, a cost that is often passed on to the patient.

The prices listed on the site are not introductory prices or discount specials.  These prices reflect the entire cost of each procedure with no ancillary charges.

The prices listed appear to be in line with what insurers pay, according to Health Care Blue Book. An ACL repair surgery generally costs $10,105 in the same area, compared to $9,900 at Regency Health, while a rotator cuff repair surgery usually runs $8,263 in local hospitals compared to $9,500 at the surgical center.

Perhaps the most important thing about Regency’s prices are that they are all-inclusive, meaning no surprises when the bill comes. Regency’s price for the rotator cuff repair is also for outpatient surgery, compared to a two day stay in the hospital elsewhere. I suspect that’s because Regency performs arthroscopic surgery for this procedure, which is minimally invasive and allows more rapid recovery and discharge compared to full surgery. So the prices on rotator cuff repair may not be fully comparable.

It’s great to see another cash-friendly surgical facility open anywhere, but in this case it’s especially nice to see one open on the East Coast, giving self-pay patients in this part of the country what may be a more convenient and accessible place to get procedures done.

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4 Responses to Orthopedic surgery center in New York City begins offering cash prices

  1. Bud Brooks says:

    Sean, thanks for your story; we are big believers in price transparency and consumerism, especially in the outpatient surgery setting. Dr. Smith at SC of Oklahoma is a good friend of ours. I am a little unclear about the prices offered by Regency compared to the local hospitals. The prices are similar to each other, but while we know that Regency’s prices are bundled, it’s not entirely clear if the hospitals’ prices are bundled or not. If so, then Regency offers no advantage; if not, then information on the surgeon and anesthesia fees is needed so as to show a clear distinction from Regency.

  2. seandparnell says:

    Thanks Bud – I got the local hospital charges off of Health Care Blue Book, so the thing to remember about them is that they aren’t actually ‘prices,’ they’re just averages, not bundles. So someone could easily check into the local hospital to get rotator cuff repair surgery thinking they’ll get charged $8,263 and wind up with a bill that’s thousands more. To me, one of the primary advantages of facilities like Regency and SC of Oklahoma is the ‘bundled’ nature of the pricing (I use the term ‘all inclusive’ a lot) – patients know exactly what they’re paying up front, there’s no surprises as a result of a $400 aspirin.

    I plan to feature Surgery Center Networks soon, please feel free to send me any info you think would be helpful – selfpaypatient [a] gmail.com.

  3. eldrdge1 says:

    I sure hope that medical providers get the message that millions of people will elect to pay the penalty in 2014 due to the fact that insurance is no longer affordable, or switch to Healthcare Sharing Ministries. Hopefully, more and more medical providers will start to market to this group as in the above example. I just wish that choosing a medical provider in the cash-pay world were as easy as searching for an in-network doctor on an insurance company’s website! Google, are you listening? Great new search opportunity! lol

  4. Thank you Sean for composing this article and thank you all for your responses. If you have any questions you can feel free to contact us anytime at daniel@regencyhealthnyc.com

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