The Surgery Center of Oklahoma may be the beacon of hope that millions of Americans have been searching for in the overwhelming darkness and seemingly unsolvable problems of our present healthcare crisis. For 17 years, the surgeons at this private, state-of-the-art facility have been performing surgeries for one-half, one-fourth, or even as little as one-tenth the cost of the prices patients are paying for the same surgeries at hospitals across town, and across the country, from the Surgery Center.
They provide top-notch healthcare at a fraction of the cost, with high patient satisfaction and a virtually zero infection rate. With these positives, it's understandable that patients are coming to the Surgery Center of Oklahoma from all 50 states of the United States and from all parts of the world.
In order to learn more about the innovative business and healthcare delivery model of this unique facility, this writer journeyed to Oklahoma City to meet with and interview the co-founders of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, Drs. Keith Smith and Steven Lantier, and tour their Center.
In the first video below, “A New Way to Lower Healthcare Costs,” Dr. Keith Smith explains that the current crisis with sky-high costs and low quality in American healthcare is not the result of a failure of the free market (a common charge and popular misunderstanding), but just the opposite: a failure resulting from the absence of a free market in medicine. Big Government and Big Business have combined to create a cartel — a syndicate — in healthcare to limit patient options and keep prices high, and always climbing higher. One of the “revolutionary” innovations of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma (SCO) has been to be totally transparent in pricing, to post the full cost of surgeries (for surgeon, anesthesiologist, facility costs) online, so that consumers can compare prices and make fully-informed decisions that are going to dramatically impact their personal (or family, company) budgets.
In part two of our interview, “How Government Drives Up Healthcare Costs,” Dr. Smith describes a number of the federal and state policies that have been driving up the costs of healthcare for many years. At the state level, he notes, one of the most important needed reforms is to abolish the corrupt “Certificate of Need” laws that have been enacted at the behest of the current medical establishment to give them power to prevent new competition from entering the marketplace. These laws allow commissions to determine, for instance, how many hospitals, clinics, trauma centers, MRI machines, etc., are “needed” in a designated area and to deny entry to competitors if need for their services cannot be “certified.” Of course, the people serving on the commission are not disinterested parties; usually they are directly or indirectly connected to healthcare institutions that benefit from maintaining a cartel and keeping new service providers out.
Surgery Center of Oklahoma co-founders Drs. Keith Smith and Steven Lantier are passionate advocates of liberty, and they see medical freedom as an essential component of personal liberty. That is why they have been tireless not only in opposing ObamaCare, but also in traveling widely to explain to doctors’ groups and to assist other physicians in setting up healthcare facilities based on the SCO model. In part three of our video interview, “The Future of Healthcare” (below), Dr. Keith Smith tells of some of the exciting and encouraging developments around the country, as more and more SCO-type medical institutions are popping up. There is, he explains, a very large market “for honest healthcare pricing and quality.”