Surgery Price Transparency in Charlottesville?

This is not real estate related story other than the fact that many people choose to move to Charlottesville because of our excellent health care. Also, knowing what you are going to pay for something in healthcare is an oddly radical and seemingly impossible achievement.

Graelyn Brashear at C-Ville reports that the “Monticello Community Surgery Center (MCSC), an independent outpatient center owned by 22 shareholding physicians, is embarking on a new model centered around price transparency.” (although I cannot find a website for them other than this page)

When the list price for medical care is arbitrary and obscured, nobody can make an informed decision, and cost and quality become uncoupled.

“What’s wrong with our current system is that nobody understands what the cost of services are that they’re able to obtain through insurance, unfortunately in part by design,” he said.

I’m wondering – is what they’re doing similar to what the Surgery Center of Oklahoma is doing?

The two doctors who started the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, Dr. Keith Smith and Dr. Steven Lantier, are committed to charging fair prices, and they founded their hospital with the goal of price transparency. “What we’ve discovered is health care really doesn’t cost that much,” Dr. Smith told KFOR-TV. “What people are being charged for is another matter altogether.”

They have been posting all of their prices online for the past several years, and they charge significantly less than other hospitals in the area.

Anyone who knows me knows how frustrated I’ve been whenever I’ve broken myself playing soccer. Getting injured stinks; not knowing how much an MRI or X-Ray or doctor’s visit cost adds enormous stress and frustration to the equation.

So – will more people from around the country see this progressive option and move to Charlottesville? Conveniently, they’re going to be located close to the SOCA soccer facility … surely they will be some cross marketing, right?

Related reading: Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills are Killing Us

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