Friday, June 7, 2013

Costs Up Almost 10% at UVA Hospital

My opinion:  In my sociology course, we once examined why medical costs are increasing so much.  Indeed, part of it can be attributed to the cost it takes to develop new products.  But, according to this article, the price jumps are for services that healthcare professionals already know how to do.  Are these services being continuously improved, and does this justify the price?  The article also doesn't mention how each penny of profit is reinvested into the facilities.  Does this mean the building and machines, or does it go into the paycheck of certain individuals?  Finally, I think the interview at the end of the article is key - even if insurance pays, the insurance rates will probably go up, anyway, and all this happens even if the net income of the hospital is $62 million higher than the previous year!  Unfortunately, a lot of these economic healthcare concepts are beyond me, but I'd like to know more.  Should specialists make as much as general practitioners?  Should general hospital services remain at mostly the same price throughout the years?  And is there any easy way to fix this - something tells me there might be if it weren't covered up politically.  Feel free to give your insight.

 

UVA Medical Center to Raise Rates

Posted: May 22, 2013 7:19 PM EST Updated: Jun 05, 2013 7:19 PM EST
 
University of Virginia Medical Center
University of Virginia Medical Center
Patients who are treated at the University of Virginia Medical Center will see their hospital bills go up soon.
Starting this September, UVA will increase rates for medical services between 7 to 9 percent. Room charges and radiology tests are only some of the procedures that will cost more starting this fall.
This rate increase comes about six months after the medical center announced $184 million in net income - up $62 million from the year before. There was also an increase last year.
Larry Fitzgerald, associate vice president for business development, says the rate increase is necessary.
"We average somewhere in the rage of a 5 percent operating margin each year so to put that in perspective our profits will be approximately $60 million but capital budget is about $100 million so every penny of profit that we make gets reinvested in the facility that serves our community," said Larry Fitzgerald, vice president of UVA Hospital.
The rate increase will support areas that allow UVA to provide high-quality care. Fitzgerald says that health insurance will absorb most - if not virtually all - of the cost.
NBC29 talked to one health care patient who felt rising costs lead to rising insurance premiums. So either way, she feels she'll be paying more.

From: http://www.nbc29.com/story/22400608/uva-medical-center-to-raise-rates

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