During a recent summit, I was fortunate to meet Dutch Rojas, CEO of Sano Surgery, and hear how he is bucking the status quo in health care through his work with Sano Surgery.
After the summit, I asked Dutch to join me for a webinar covering proactive tactics employers can utilize to get ahead of the US health care train wreck (Register Here). With the webinar coming up this Wednesday, 12/4, I am excited to feature Dutch in this month’s edition of CEO’s Corner.
Read on to hear Dutch’s thoughts on injecting free enterprise into the US health care system, direct contracting, and the importance of primary care:
Kim Evans: What are three practical steps you would share with brokers, benefits advisers & employers looking to drive down costs, increase quality, and ultimately improve value for their clients?
Dutch Rojas: I’m not a fan of the way healthcare professionals use the word cost. In order to communicate effectively, professionals ought to consider being articulate and precise. Instead, let's use the word expenses when discussing healthcare expenses, use the word prices when referring to what buyers pay for medical treatments, and use the word cost only when referring to the actual building blocks of medical treatments and health plans.
In order to lower healthcare expenses and medical treatment prices, the payers have to pay less. That said, everything begins and ends with primary care. The steps to paying less for medical treatments are as follows:
- Primary care led initiatives.
- Win-win-win direct contracts
- Medical management.
- Physical Therapy first.
- SurgeryFutures & SurgeryOptions.
Kim Evans: Direct Contracting is a growing strategy in healthcare benefits, can you give an overview of the concept and share how it can make a difference for brokers and employers?
Dutch Rojas: According to the father of disruptive innovation, Clayton Christensen, existing companies, cannot disrupt themselves. Since carriers aren’t going to disrupt themselves, we have to disrupt the marketplace. The best ways to do that are to contract on behalf of our own entity or partner with a direct contracting company.
The result of direct contracting is threefold,
- Upfront prices for medical treatments
- No balance bills to the patient
- No friction from unnecessary third parties.
Dutch Rojas: Sano Surgery was built on the core belief that free enterprise cures all. Price transparency results in a competitive market; competition yields lower prices and higher quality outcomes.
Ultimately, price transparency results in lower healthcare expenses and medical treatment prices. Today, we see the beginnings of this in the total joint market. Remember, the average total joint price is nearly $80,000. Today, there are seven perhaps eight practices in the country, led by excellent surgeons that consistently deliver exceptional outcomes for less than $21,000.
Kim Evans: Twenty years from now, when you look back on your time in the health benefits industry, what will you be most proud of?
Ultimately my goal is to bring all non-emergency surgery to US physician-owned practices. The global non-emergency marketplace is estimated at 6-8 trillion dollars, and through price transparency and competition, the US could attract global demand, especially from the single-payer countries.
Don’t forget to join us this Wednesday, Dec. 4th at 11:00 am CST to learn how to stay on track with innovative cost-containment strategies!