Web Log – February 2010 – St. Luke’s Pricing Changes

Fog in the Valley at Bogus Basin
Fog in the Valley at Bogus Basin

We in the Boise Plastic Surgery community are very fortunate to have St. Lukes as a partner.  They are the only hospital which has offered reasonable prices for both inpatient and outpatient cosmetic surgery.  The have not had a price raise in 5 years.  Cosmetic plastic surgery cases are not a money maker for an OR, compared to orthopedics or other specialties.  Accordingly, St. Lukes has found it necessary to raise their prices as well as change the pricing structure.

Previously, each case had its own global price and the charge was the same whether the case took 2 hours or 3 hours, for example.  Now, there will be an up front charge for materials, which is new.  The case will then be charged by the half hour, depending on the surgeon’s time estimate.  Surgeons must be accurate, or they will not be allowed to take part in the program.  The new system takes effect today, February 1.  Patients previously on the schedule will use the old system.

No one likes a price raise, but I think that this is reasonable.  We plastic surgeons have no bargaining power as there are no other inpatient options and St. Lukes has not abused their position.  I have the advantage of setting my own pricing for outpatient surgeries that I perform in my own facility, Meadow Lake Surgery Center.  While running my own facility is a tremendous amount of work, it is good to have some element of control over costs.

The change may be a bit bumpy first, but my staff will work to make every step as smooth as possible.  Please call Kaye if you have questions.

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