Rise in Hospital Stay Prices

Are you paying more for your recent hospital stay visits? A new trend that many families are witnessing this year is a large increase in the price in day and extended stay visits to the hospital.

A recent statistic shows that the price increased from 37% in the years between 2009 and 2013. That’s a significant rise in price.

The main cause is a severe increase in deductibles and ⅓ increase in co-pays, or the patient’s share of cost. The study uses data from major national health insurers such as Aetna, Humana, United Healthcare covering 7.3 million hospital stays. Findings included a 6.5% increase in and out of pocket spending per year! At the same time premiums rose 5.1%.

One possible reason for the hike in hospital stays is the decrease in competition when it comes to drugs. Hospitals are paying more for name-brand drugs because the generic versions have been bought and eliminated.

“There’s been a huge consolidation of these generic companies . . . everybody is buying everybody else,” stated Gerard Anderson, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in a recent article published on the Chicago Tribune.

This means that doctors and hospitals are placed in challenging positions. They can either forgo buying the expensive drugs and risk not having the appropriate medicine to treat their patients, or they can buy the expensive drugs and find other ways to pay for the added cost.

9 times out of 10, a hospital will choose to buy the drug. This is not because they’re interested in their patients spending more money. It’s because as professionals, they work and will continue to work to save patients lives each and every day.

While patients may not see a sudden increase in the cost of their stay, over time, even years, the prices will rise. We’re seeing this increase today.

There must be a better system to solve this problem. With or without insurance, our healthcare system is an expensive and often times prohibitive place to receive care.