'An emergency room for back pain' — Dr. Perry Haney on his secret to a successful practice, political aspirations and a solution to national healthcare


Perry Haney, MD, is the medical director of SpineOne medical center in Lone Tree, Colo. He discussed his secret to running a successful practice, and touched on his 2012 run for the U.S. Congress in advance of a possible 2018 campaign.

Question: What is the secret to your success in running an orthopedic practice?


Dr. Perry Haney: For most practices, what happens many times is people call when something has happened. The practice can't get them in on the day they're injured, so they end up going somewhere else, or they end up just postponing or never getting treatment.


With my center, we refer to ourselves as an emergency room for background. We get people in the day they call, right away. That's the secret to having a big practice. That's one of my secrets.


The other is our motto here: We treat everybody like they're a valued family member or somebody like Bill Gates. We treat everyone like that, whether they have Medicaid, no insurance or the best insurance you can have. That's another of our secrets.


Question: Why did you decide to pursue a run for Congress?


PH: I started to run in 2012 but had to drop out. I started campaigning and started to run when I began to feel a little bit tired. I was driving on and on, and it turns out, I ended up developing kidney failure, needing a transplant. Luckily, my wife was a match, which is pretty amazing. I was on dialysis for six months and I had a the transplant a year ago. Things are going well now and depending on what happens in the 2016 election, I'm seriously looking at running for Congress in 2018, once again in the sixth district in Colorado.


Question: Why are you so interested in politics?


PH: I've always been interested in politics, but I've always been too busy with other things to get involved with it. I believe in public service, and now that I'm 65-years-old and my health is back. I'd like to run again.


One of the big reasons is that one of the major problems in this country right now is the healthcare system. I think there are answers to it, but I don't think anyone is on the right track.


In the U.S. we shouldn't go to a one-payer system, especially a government system.


Just look at the post office or the Department of Motor Vehicles: You just don't want national healthcare, but I do think there's a way to cover everybody.


We should cover everyone and I think everyone should get treatment. I think I have the right answer, but we'll see.


Q: What is your plan for healthcare in the U.S.?


PH: There is a private system we can set up that would take care of everybody. It's a bit of a private/public system at some levels, but it's still mostly private.


The federal government's only involvement should requiring every employer, if they employ one person or several thousands, to provide basic healthcare insurance through a private provider or industry. Maybe it's just catastrophic coverage, but we need to have basic healthcare that's affordable. We have to have healthcare that's not going to bankrupt people.


Then if you're not employed or your truly disabled, I think there we should have the public sector — some combination of federal, state and local government — provide a private insurance policy from a private insurance company for those people. That's what I think should happen.


In my system, Medicare would stay in place, but I think Medicaid could be eliminated. The whole idea is to not have a government system.


(The current system) is a horrible system. We need to make sure everybody is covered, and it's easy to say that I think the system I'm talking about will work, but getting it passed through the current "do nothing Congress" we have will be an entirely different task.


Learn more from Dr. Haney at the 15th Annual Spine, Orthopedic & Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference + The Future of Spine in June 2017! Click here for more information.


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