Outpatient surgery helps some MDs with additional income and avoids the administrative hospital costs...BD

When someone has minor outpatient surgery in a hospital, payment includes the cost to cover the procedure, plus an extra few thousand dollars in so-called facility fees. If Rock Rockett has his way, more doctors will ditch the hospital and stitch out of their own offices--in theory capturing a fraction of those facility fees that insurers no longer have to pay.

Happy result: Docs make more dough, insurers save money and, just maybe, the overall cost of health care drops.

A 30-year health-insurance industry vet, Rockett is now the head of San Ramon, Calif.-based Validare, a small firm formed in 2001 to help physicians apply for formal accreditation to perform. Today the company also negotiates pricing with insurance companies and even handles doctors' back-office payment services.

Accreditation isn't cheap. Upfront costs for the certification: $11,000, including $6,000 for Validare's consulting services and $5,000 in fees to the Joint Commission. In addition, Delmonte pays Validare a kingly 15% on the fees he generates in excess of what he would have earned performing surgery in a hospital. All well worth it, says Delmonte, who claims he now pulls in an extra $1,000 or so per procedure and is able to perform more surgeries by avoiding costly hospital delays.

Cutting Hospitals Out Of Surgery - Forbes.com


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