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Study show hospital costs high in Wisconsin


A study published this week from Rand Corporation revealed Wisconsin's hospital prices are the fifth highest in the country, relative to Medicare costs.

The report compiled data from hospitals from across the country from 2020 to 2022, finding patients from Wisconsin paid more than three times the Medicare rate, the fifth highest in the country.

"It's very concerning, not only for patients, but for our employers, who are trying to provide quality affordable health care for their employees," said Rachel Ver Velde, the Associate Vice President of Government Relations for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.

The study's findings indicated Wisconsin ranks well above neighboring Midwest states like Iowa and Michigan, who rank second and third lowest.

Those in central Wisconsin bear an even higher cost compared to the rest of the state.

"In the Wausau area, Aspirus is the fourth-highest hospital system for cost at 368% of Medicare," Ver Velde said.

Marshfield Clinic came just behind Aspirus at 338%, according to the study's findings.

WAOW Television reached out to both Aspirus and Marshfield Clinic for comment, but each deferred to statements from the Wisconsin Hospital Association and American Hospital Association.

Each organization thought the scope of the study was extremely limited.

The WHA says the Medicare rates "fall short of covering providers’ costs."

Ver Velde says that burden shouldn't fall on the ones who need care.

"There's no reason that employers and privately insured individuals should have to be making up for low reimbursement costs. If they have a problem with low reimbursement costs, they should go to the government and have that conversation with them," she said.

She adds the best way to create progress on the issue is to demand transparency from hospitals.

Click here for WMC's press release, which contains a link to supplemental data used to come to Rand's conclusions.

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