FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) ̵
The New York Times on Thursday published a report entitled "Many Hospitals Charge Double or Even Triple What Medicare Would Pay." The main image of the report showcases Parkview's Randallia Drive hospital, and the report starts with a damning factoid about northeast Indiana's largest healthcare network.
"In Indiana, a local hospital system, Parkview Health, private insurance companies charged four times what the federal Medicare program paid for the same care, "the New York Times reported.
The report came from a study of hospital prices across the nation, released Thursday by the nonprofit RAND Corp.
The story went on to quote Parkview Health CEO Mike Packnett, who explained Parkview's focus was on quality of care. He said the health network was adopting new kinds of contracts, as well. Highest quality care at the best cost, "Packnett said in a statement, according to the New York Times report. We received a similar statement:
"Focusing on hospital pricing alone will not allow employers to achieve their health care cost goals. We are already working with a number of employers and other partners across the region to achieve their health care goals. We look forward to working with even more employers in the future to create innovative models of care that achieve our shared goal of delivering the best care at the best cost. "
The American Hospital Association also issued a statement, citing" concerns "with the RAND Corp. report, including a small sample size. That statement, credited to the association's General Counsel Melinda Hatton, reads:
"We have a number of reports released today by RAND Corp. Most notably the authors themselves point out that the study's key limitation is its small sample size – less than 5 percent of all covered persons in about half of all states, and just 2 percent of the 181 million Americans with employer-sponsored insurance nationally.
Further, Medicare payment rates, which reimburse below In 2017, hospitals received payment of only 87 cents for every dollar spent caring for Medicare patients, Simply shifting to prices based on artificially low Medicare payment rates would strip vital resources from already strapped communities, seriously impeding access to care. Hospitals would not have the resources needed to keep our doors open, innovate to adapt to a rapidly changing environment ng field and maintain the services communities need and expect.
Recent data from the National Health Expenditure report released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in December 2018 show that that price growth for hospital services was just 1.7 percent in 2017. Similarly, a report from the Altarum Center for Value in Health Care found hospital-spending growth in 2018 was lower than all other categories of services, including physician and clinical services and prescription drugs.
The AHA is committed to improving patients' access to information on the price of their care. It is important that individuals understand how much they will need to pay for their care, especially their out-of-pocket costs. Yet hospitals, health systems and other providers do not always have access to detailed data on health plan benefit and beneficiary cost-sharing amounts; rather, insurers hold this information. We are encouraged by the growing ability of providers and insurers to work together to develop tools that they can use to respond to patient pricing inquiries. "