The Surgery Center of Oklahoma’s decision to publicly post prices for common procedures could prompt other hospitals and medical facilities to follow suit.
Want to know how much it will cost to repair your torn Achilles tendon? At the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, you won’t run into a wall of bureaucracy trying to find out: The price for that procedure ($5,730) and other common surgeries is posted online.
The surgery center is at the forefront of what many observers say is the beginning of a sea change in the health care industry: telling patients up-front how much their operation or treatment will cost.
Consumers will insist on knowing the costs of medical procedures as they pay more out of pocket for their health care and as the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, requires all individuals to carry some minimum health insurance or pay a tax, experts say.
“There will be incredible demand and outcry from consumers if they don’t receive this transparency in pricing,” Dr. Keith Smith, co-founder of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, told MSN News.
“I think you’re going to see websites pop up like Priceline where you enter your ZIP code and enter your desired procedure.”
“There are an increasing number of patients with high-deductible plans and those patients are going to ask questions before they will go to some of these places,” said Dr. Peter Ubel, a professor of public policy at Duke University…. (Read more here)