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Study: Indiana ranks in top 10 for hospital prices in nation

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana is one of the most expensive places in the country to receive both inpatient and outpatient hospital care, according to a study.

The RAND 4.0 Hospital Transparency Study ranks Indiana’s hospital prices seventh highest in the country. That number rises to fourth for inpatient services only, and sixth for outpatient services.
The study says Indiana hospitals charge insurers three times the amount they charge Medicare.

“Every hospital in the country charges more than Medicare, but not three times more than Medicare,” said Al Hubbard, chairman of Hoosiers for Affordable Health Care.

Other factors driving up costs include low physician reimbursement rates, hospital consolidation, and hospitals acquiring outpatient services.

“Studies show this raises prices because the physicians don’t consider other alternatives. They feed their patients to their employer,” Hubbard said.

Hubbard says he’s hearing from some doctors who have referred patients to the Mayo or Cleveland clinics out of state because it’s cheaper than getting care in state.

“What’s particularly disturbing is they’re nonprofit, so they are supposed to operate for the good of the community. Many of them are religiously affiliated, and I can’t believe its consistent with their religious commitments to take advantage of hospital patients and over charge them,” Hubbard said.

Earlier this year, the Indiana Legislature asked Indiana University Health, the state’s largest hospital system, to address the lowering of health care costs. IU Health responded saying it will reduce some of those costs by 2025.