I saw this Facebook post from the Surgery Center of Oklahoma: "I’ve decided there are 2 types of healthcare buyers in the U.S.: those who care what healthcare costs and those who don’t. I believe the more people who care, the less it will cost."
First, I agree with the sentiment. If we, as healthcare consumers, start demanding price transparency for the services that we receive in the healthcare ecosystem, it will drive down the cost of those services.
For example, there is no way that you would pay the big box hospital $125 for a complete blood count (CBC) and $130 for a lipid panel when you know that you can get that same CBC for $5 and that same lipid panel for $6.50 at Plum Health.
When you pay these inflated prices, you are paying the middle men between you and your doctor. Free market healthcare options like Direct Primary Care doctors and surgery centers like the Surgery Center of Oklahoma make prices clear and understandable.
Second, I think the SCOK website is fascinating because you can literally look at each body part and each potential operation and see what that surgery would cost. This is something that most hospitals and surgery centers can't tell you because the insurance payment system obscures the true cost.
This concept of price transparency is relatively new in the healthcare system, and it may be one solution to the rapidly rising healthcare costs.
Below is an graph showing the rise in healthcare costs from the Kaiser Family Foundation; in the linked article they state: "In 1970, total health care spending was about $75 billion, or only $356 per person. In less than 40 years these costs have grown to $2.6 trillion, or $8,402 per person. As a result, the share of economic activity devoted to health care grew from 7.2% in 1970 to 17.9% in 2010."