Thursday, May 16, 2019

Dr. Larry Teuber: Blake Curd to blame for employee insurance debacle

If South Dakota's policy makers had any balls whatsoever they’d bring legislation that would compel the medical industry to post the costs for all procedures. So if these hospitals are monopolies like utilities are, or even oligopolies in their markets, why isn't there a voter-elected public commission to regulate pricing? In the Argus Leader article Tara quotes Republican State Senator/Dr. Blake Curd accuses Avera of being a monopoly.

Curd brought this problem on himself. Avera is doing what they need to do.

Core orthopedics left Avera and joined [Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital] and [Orthopedic Institute] taking millions in orthopedic surgery away from Avera. As a result Avera had no choice to start their own ortho program, hire employed orthopedic surgeons and build the new hospital. Once Avera has opened their new ortho hospital they would be insane to pay Sfsh or OI when they can do everything themselves. Avera orthopedic surgeons are just as good as OI. Sanford excluded OI and Sfsh years ago. Markets shift , conditions change. If Avera employees demand to see OI surgeons and have surgery at Sfsh they have 2 options: 1. Pay for it themselves 2. Find another employer who will pay for it.

Sfsh distributes over $24,000,000 / year to its surgeon owners - tax free. Curd makes money on his distributions, his role as Sfsh ceo (over $400k) as an owner of [Surgical Management Professionals] (who manages Sfsh revenue cycle) as an owner in the service line management company that contracts with Sfsh. It’s no surprise he is leaving. [Dr. Larry Teuber]

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