Healthcare's Free Market Alternative

By:  William F. Jasper
Healthcare's Free Market Alternative

Good-news answer to ObamaCare: The Surgery Center of Oklahoma is proving that free enterprise is the way to boost quality while dramatically cutting medical costs.

“I called local surgeons and facilities to ask for hernia surgery costs, and never received a firm price, or complete information about what was actually done,” said Bob Singleton of Dallas, Texas. “The verbal estimates (they wouldn’t put them in writing) were in the $5k to $8k range, and that was after their ‘discount’ for cash payment, which was 5 percent.”

Then he checked out the Surgery Center of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City and was pleasantly surprised. The Surgery Center of Oklahoma (SCO) website “gave a fixed price of $3,190 for my surgery,” Singleton recounts. “I called and received all the information I needed. I was able to check the credentials of the surgeon, which were good, and arrange the surgery to happen in less than 2 weeks.” Singleton continues:

I drove down on Sunday afternoon, met with the surgeon on Monday morning, had the surgery just after noon, and spent the night in a nice hotel near the surgery center in the medical district. I returned to Dallas on Tuesday morning. With travel, hotel, and meals included, it was still much less than the lowest estimates I could get in Dallas.

The Surgery Center was polite, efficient, and gave me top-notch care and follow-up. I was better informed and treated in a better facility than any other outpatient facility I’ve used in the Dallas area.

Jennifer Carlsen of Peculiar, Missouri, described her experience with the Surgery Center of Oklahoma as “exceptional.” “Nothing was compromised on service, facilities, or doctors,” she enthused. “Worth our 5 hour drive! Our reason for surgery was a plate & screws removed from collarbone.”

Loren Wissmann of Milford, Nebraska, is similarly effusive in praise of the SCO. “I would highly recommend the Oklahoma Surgery Center,” said Wissmann. “Two years ago I had a double hernia surgery done. It was very friendly and professional service at a fraction of the cost of a normal hospital experience. My surgery was an in/out same day surgery and they followed up on me to make sure I was doing okay.”

Scott Greer of Highland Village, Texas, is another SCO patient who happily endorses the Oklahoma City facility for the tremendous cost savings, as well as the superlative service. The cost differential between SCO and the alternative was “huge,” he says: At SCO, “$3,200 for the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and the facility. Previous surgery center — over $12,000 for the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and the facility. And that was the Blue Cross negotiated rates.”

All of the above-cited testimonials are found on the website of Samaritan Ministries, a Christian healthcare alternative to insurance that now boasts a membership of more than 35,000 member households. Like the tens of millions of American families and millions of other businesses, charities, and institutions, Samaritan Ministries, based in Peoria, Illinois, is scrambling to find quality healthcare at affordable prices for its members. And, like many individuals, companies, and institutions, that search is leading to the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, an innovative facility that has become one of the hottest topics in healthcare.

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Photo: Surgery Center of Oklahoma

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