In preparation for surgery, your focus should be on improving your health, restoring function and reducing your pain. Cost should not be your greatest worry, but often it is. Furthermore, its nearly impossible to find data on surgeon quality and the true cost of surgery. Costs are often astronomical and only after the surgery do you find out the bad news. This situation has led to tragic circumstances. According to a West Health-Gallup Survey, one in 8 Americans has to resort to borrowing to afford health care. The survey also shows that 65 million citizens reported a health issue but didn’t seek medical treatment due to cost.
When it comes to paying for your surgery, it’s important that you understand your options. Free-market surgery providers are one of the newer options and are gaining traction in the marketplace for their transparency, bundled prices and quality surgeons. Bundled prices allow you to compare prices across different surgical providers and transparency means you don’t need to worry about surprise or unexpected bills.
At Texas Medical Management (TMM), we offer bundled surgeries in many specialties including orthopedic, general surgery, ENT, gynecological surgery, spine surgery, urology, ophthalmology, reconstruction surgery, pain and much more. In this article, we’ll look at free-market surgery and how it benefits you.
Free-market surgery refers to a collaboration between quality surgeons and innovative business partners to deliver the best care at affordable, bundled and transparent prices for patients. It’s a model that prioritizes simple bundled pricing, transparency quality, and better patient outcomes.
Free market surgery providers, like TMM, bundle all the costs of a surgical episode into one price that is published on their website. Upfront pricing means no surprise bills or other shenanigans,
Hospitals are very expensive places to receive care. When you are faced with trauma, cancer or an infectious disease and need a high level of care, hospitals are the best place to go with their staff of highly trained specialists and around the clock nursing. That does not mean they are the best place for your bunion surgery or your gallbladder removal or even your total knee replacement surgery. An outpatient surgical center (ASC) is nearly always a safer and a far more cost effective place to get your care. Ultimately, your surgeon will make the decision that is best for your condition. TMM helps surgeons understand the costs at both hospitals and ASC so that they are better able to make these important value decisions. ASCs are designed to be safer and more cost effective. They are safer because they do not allow operations to occur on patients who are sick with an infectious disease. They are more cost effective because they are only open during normal business hours and do not need to hire a staff of highly trained specialists. They also strive to make the process more efficient and cost-effective for you by eliminating all unnecessary expenses. They will make the best use of their highly trained and experienced surgeons and other staff members while ensuring that the equipment and supplies suit the surgeon’s needs.
You may be wondering why a surgical provider, like TMM, offers only cash pricing and does not accept traditional large insurance company plans. What most people don’t know is that surgical providers spend on average 30% of their revenue to bill and collect from insurance companies. The process is overly complex and requires an IT department and office of coders to properly navigate. To top it off, insurance companies partially pay or deny payment nearly 20% of the time. The extra cost to bill and collect and poor payment add up to a huge cost burden on surgical providers. For this reason TMM does not ask its provider partners to engage in complex billing and collection routines and pays its provider partners fast, often 3-4 times faster than large insurance companies. By cutting out this cost of business, TMM’s provider partners offer great pricing that is passed along to its customers like you. This cost savings is so great that the cost of many procedures is less than insurance plan deductibles or out of pocket maximums. If you have traditional health insurance or a Health Savings Account, you should check out free market surgery pricing. It might surprise you that you can go ‘out of your insurance network’ and save $1000s. If you have a health share or even no insurance, free market surgical providers are a good choice.
Texas Medical Management and other free-market surgical providers publish most of their prices on their websites or can quickly quote surgical prices over the phone. These prices are bundled, meaning that all the costs of surgical episode, from surgeon consultation, surgery and post-opeative care is included in the price. That means you get a price that is fixed and agreed upon ahead of time. Transparency is real in the free market and its adherents want you to compare their prices to others. Competition on patient value (patient outcomes / the cost of care) is a good thing and will improve care across the land.
Unfortunately, most hospitals are unwilling or unable to quote prices and when they do, the quote is far higher than the free market surgical provider. Furthermore, it is unlikely they will provide a breakdown of the costs as this could lead to more questions. Opacity in pricing and quality has served these titans well and they will only reluctantly agree to do things differently. Use your better judgement when choosing your care providers. Would you choose to buy a house or a car from companies unwilling or unable to give you straightforward easy to understand prices? Then don’t do it with your surgical providers, do your diligences and find free market surgical providers like TMM.
Texas Medical Management has been an advocate and practitioner of the free-market surgery model even before we officially opened our doors. We believe that disclosing prices from the get-go empowers patients with the kind of knowledge they need to make sound decisions. When healthcare providers compete for patients business by providing high-quality patient outcomes at fair, transparent prices, patients win.
If you’ve been told by your doctor you might need surgery or you’ve been putting off having that old injury looked at by a surgeon, you ought to take a look at TMM’s fair and competitive surgical prices. We offer over 400 bundles or all-inclusive offerings tailored to your specific needs. Book your consultation online today.