Are you wondering why I have chosen the issue of health care to write about? Do you wonder what my background is that makes me knowledgeable about this subject even though I’m not a doctor and I don’t even play one on TV?
I could go way back to my experience working in claims and patient eligibility toward the beginning and midpoint of my working life, but I really don’t want to bore anyone to death with a long-winded account of my experiences. Although that experience shaped some of my ideas, nothing has shaped my current thoughts about it more than the last couple of years I spent working for Dr. Randy Delcore at Cedar Orthopaedic Surgery Specialty Clinic and Cedar Orthopaedic Surgery Center.
When I started working for Dr. Delcore as a public relations assistant, I had the tasks of assisting in the launch of a new website, working on an advertisement for local theaters, and taking care of any advertising. Another task he gave me led to the formation of strong opinions regarding the state of health care in America, which is a pretty big mess at the moment. Yes, it was in a mess before, but Obamacare only made it worse – not better, despite all the self back-patting he did at the end of his term in office.
A Time of Revelation
One day Dr. Delcore dropped a stack of magazines on my desk because he wanted me to educate myself about the general state of health care in our country, especially as it related to some of the issues he was experiencing as a fiercely independent physician. So I pored over all of them with voracious interest – some leaned left of center in perspective, others leaned right, and other publications were somewhere in the middle.
One article was a newspaper or magazine clipping (I don’t remember which) about a facility in Oklahoma City, Surgery Center of Oklahoma, that performed outpatient surgeries for prices much lower than average hospital prices. This piqued my curiosity because this was something Dr. Delcore was doing. I checked out the website and looked at the transparent pricing tool, which was something I already knew Dr. Delcore would want on the new website for his practice and surgery center.
In terms of educational material though, I was intrigued by the video blogs Dr. Keith Smith, the founder of SCO, had posted on the surgery center’s Facebook page. In fact, I could not resist throwing my two cents worth into the comments section. (I hope I didn’t wear him out with those.) Many of those blogs focused on the reasons that health care is so expensive these days. Some of the reasons Dr. Smith enumerated included government interference in health care and what he referred to as the large cartel hospital systems that overcharge insurance companies and then agree to some (still overpriced) reimbursement for medical services rendered. In fact, Dr. Smith has revealed all kinds of chicanery in the area of health care pricing as well as pointing to others that were writing about the same thing.
I have also communicated via Twitter and Facebook with many doctors who are truly frustrated about the direction in which the U.S. health care system is going as well as reading many articles and blogs they have written. By engaging in this discussion, I have seen the ways in which Obamacare has not improved the system, but has (I feel) made it only worse. I may have cast a protest ballot in the election (neither Clinton nor Trump), but I am truly hoping that President Trump does “drain the swamp,” especially in terms of the way health care works here.
Where Do I Go From Here?
I have so much to say about the current state of health care in the U.S., and can’t wait to share what I continue to learn about it. I honestly hope that if you, my readers, don’t already know about the many health care price drivers I will be writing about, you will be as outraged as I already am and motivated to communicate with your elected representatives to make some real constructive changes in this time of opportunity.