Dr. Keith Smith believes that health care pricing in the United States is “a scam,” — something he is determined to change. Continuing with our 2-part series on transparency, we thought it would be interesting to talk to someone who has a few years’ experience in taking transparency and putting it into effect. Keith is the medical director and managing partner of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma.
During the seven years he spent working in big hospitals, Keith witnessed the quality of medical care sinking and the prices rising. This inspired Keith and his business partner to start a private practice with a difference: they would post their prices and outcomes for everyone to see. To remain true to their pricing, they decided they could not deal with government programs. They are firm in their belief that the only way to move to a real free market is to be completely transparent and provide better care and outcomes than big box hospitals, and to do it for a fraction of the price.
We asked Keith about his journey as well as the challenges he and his partner had to overcome along the way. We also explore the disruptive consequences that his transparency is having across the country, leading patients (who bid for their non-emergent surgical care) to Oklahoma.