By Charity Beall, CHM Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Editor’s note: This information was published in the November 2019 issue of Heartfelt Magazine, CHM’s monthly magazine that provides CHM membership-related tips and tricks, medical advice from doctors, testimonies from CHM members, and more. Please refer to the CHM Guidelines and applicable web pages for the most up-to-date information regarding CHM membership, sharing eligibility, and ministry news.
Which of the following statements are facts or fiction?
1) Hospitals use a “chargemaster” to estimate costs for hundreds of hospital services.
2) Pricing is inflated in order to leave room for negotiation while still receiving a profit.
3) In some cases, costs are inflated up to 20 times.
Most people would probably agree that No. 1 and No. 2 are facts, and that’s right. However, the third statement is also true.
The good news is that there are medical providers who intentionally work outside of the above healthcare model. Healthcare provider price transparency is fundamental to your understanding of what you’re getting for what you’re paying.
The Free Market Medical Association (FMMA), brings together buyers and sellers of healthcare goods and services in a way that reduces cost and increases quality. Founded by Dr. Keith Smith of Surgery Center of Oklahoma and Jay Kempton of Kempton Group, this free market movement and resource is gaining momentum as consumers question increasing healthcare costs.
There are economic experts who have said that for healthcare pricing changes to take place, healthcare consumers (patients and their families) must take back the proverbial driver’s seat because free markets are most effective when there is ample competition and transparency.
CHM members have chosen the driver’s seat. You, like FMMA’s founders, are exercising your freedom by shopping for the best prices and asking for discounts.
You have over 400,000 brothers and sisters in Christ at CHM who are standing beside you. Just as exciting are the healthcare providers who are working with you.
When you face a medical event, I encourage you to visit free market resources, such as fmma.org/shophealth, to see what like-minded providers offer. You’ll feel good knowing that you’re working with a provider who values transparency and quality, and you’ll find satisfaction as you take back decision-making authority and support a free-market healthcare model.