September 2021 A drastically new Indiana health care concept. Would you buy something without knowing the cost? You already have if you’ve had surgery. Patients rarely know procedure costs until opening the bills afterward. Even then, the price isn’t clear. Adding insult to injury, Hoosiers pay the fourth highest surgical costs nationwide (from the most recent Rand Corp study). In October, Wellbridge Surgical is going to turn the tables. Wellbridge Surgical will be Indiana’s only ambulatory surgery center (ASC) offering up-front, truly transparent, all-inclusive outpatient surgery pricing. Their drastically lower prices will be clearly posted on the company website. This revolutionary ASC is conveniently located on Indy’s Northwest side. Something had to change Four years ago, Drs. Ron Piniecki and Eric Inman, along with Jeff Williams, a local business owner, envisioned a new surgical care model in central Indiana. As anesthesiologists, Drs. Inman and Piniecki saw firsthand the unwieldy Indiana surgical system, and Williams realized health care costs for his small business continued to increase yearly, while benefits decreased. “Rather than complain,” says Williams, “we chose to do something about it.” WellBridge Surgical will offer General Surgery, Orthopedics, Gynecology, Otolaryngology, Urology, Podiatry, and Gastroenterology procedures. A patient just needs to contact WellBridge if they desire a service, and the facility will pair them with a surgeon. “Being anesthesiologists, our focus is excellent patient experiences, the highest quality outcomes, and safety,” states Piniecki. “Our partners include some of the most respected surgeons in their fields.” Transparent, Up-Front Surgical Pricing The WellBridge Surgical concept centers on a non-traditional payment model. The fixed procedure price includes everything – facility charge, surgeon fee, anesthesiologist fee, etc. The patient will know the price, which will not change, before their surgery. But that’s not the company’s only promise. “Since our payment model works outside of traditional insurance we can offer a drastically lower price point,” explains Inman. Wellbridge surgery prices will be 30-60% below market average. For example, the Wellbridge cost for ear tube placement is $2380, while the average Indiana price for that surgery is above $6000. Too good to be true? Claiming prices are 30%-60% lower than typical market averages may lead people to question if there’s a catch. But as Inman explains, “Over the past several decades, by unnecessarily complicating health care, many intermediaries intentionally created our unsustainable, overpriced system that runs on smoke and mirrors. We circumvent these middlemen providing consumers with a competitive alternative to purchase surgical services just like other products or services.” Empowering patients and business owners The founders know this model’s success will depend on a change in mindset. Concierge medicine and direct primary care have recently broken barriers. Wellbridge Surgical aims to further this movement into the surgical realm. They are not only targeting self-pay individuals. Patients with high deductible plans can benefit from their prices which are often below many’s deductible limit. Piniecki states, “Over time patients are realizing even though they have an insurance card in their wallet or purse, they are ‘functionally uninsured’, meaning the deductible cost becomes a barrier to receiving necessary treatment.” Another target is the self-funded employer population, which includes 70% of Indiana residents who receive insurance through their employers. “Self-funded employers, get ready – because we’re going to save you a lot of money,” declares Williams. “Spread the word - there is now a better option for outpatient surgical procedures. Our goal is to make a lasting, positive impact on the health care system.” Everyone interested in WellBridge Surgical can discover more at WellBridgeSurgical.com or by calling 317.696.2710.