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Two Local Hospitals Rank Top Ten Most Expensive in the Nation

HERNANDO – Two Hernando County hospitals rank among the top ten in the nation for highest healthcare cost to uninsured and out-of-network patients.

According to a recent study conducted by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Ge Bai of Washington & Lee University, 50 hospitals across the nation charge more than 10 times allowed by Medicare. 20 of the for-profit hospital are located in Florida and two of those are located right here in Hernando County.

Oak Hill Hospital ranked 10th in the nation, with an average markup of 1100% over the recommended Medicare cost. We spoke to Rich Linkul, a Representative for Oak Hill Hospital, who was unaware of the recent findings, but said he would look into the issue and issue a statement.

Bayfront Health Brooksville, formerly Brooksville Regional, ranked 3rd in the nation for highest healthcare cost, with an astounding 1250% markup.

FAH President & CEO Chip Kahn issued the following Statement:

The Bai-Anderson paper on hospital charge-to-cost ratios released in Health Affairs today struggles to support implications for health policy reform.

The study does not recognize that the listed hospitals provided nearly $450 million in uncompensated care in 2012 alone. Federation of American Hospitals member companies have been pioneers in creating and implementing programs that provide substantial discounts to uninsured and underinsured patients who cannot cover their out-of-pocket costs. The FAH member companies cited in this study have these programs firmly in place.

A critical limitation of this study, acknowledged by the authors, is its omission of discounts attributable to these programs. Including these discounts would have had a significant effect on the charge-to-cost-ratio reported, and therefore the implications of the study’s results.

Indeed, had the authors instead compared the actual payment-to-cost ratio of these hospitals compared to the national average, they would have discovered virtually no difference between the two groups– 1.3 for the 50 hospitals and 1.2 for the national average. These figures illustrate, in part, the significance of discounts, and more broadly, why a myopic focus on charges misses the mark on what matters and is no justification for the menu of policy options offered.

While we agree price transparency, conceptually, is essential, the transparency the authors call for will not help the average uninsured or underinsured patient. Absent coverage, the true resolution is having programs in place, like those in our hospitals, which offer discounts so that these patients do not have to prioritize concern about their ability to pay over their own health and well-being.

The notion advanced by the authors that hospital charges determine the results of negotiations with insurers is false and misleading. Insurers have tremendous market power and assert this power in arms-length rate negotiations with health care providers.

And there is a puzzling disconnect between the authors’ conclusion that charges drive rising health care spending, and widely known and readily available data. We have experienced a historic slowdown in spending growth over the last five years, while hospital price growth remains at record lows – 0.3 percent in April compared to the prior year.

Indulging the same arguments about hospital charges, over and over again, does not make them more meaningful and does not justify the reforms the authors recommend. It is not the time to embark on the major policy changes suggested, which could have unintended consequences or disrupt recent positive trends, especially for patients.

Correction: RNRF noted in a the original publication that Chip Khan is CEO of Bayfront Health Brooksville. This was an error. Ken Wicker is currently CEO of BHB. 

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ™2013 – 2015 Real News Real Fast, Inc.


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  • I’m no life is not worth that kind of money. Even if I had it…I wont be going to a hospital again in my now guaranteed to be shortened lifetime. hippocratic oath my ass….”but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability.” the bills alone preclude the patient from any further economic gain to support his or her family. The bills alone discourage people from seeking help with illnesses or injuries., the insured are fortunate, in that no expense is spared them…the uninsured are inundated with bills and debt collectors within a month off walking in the door. …pretty sad when a 50 year old male in good shape chooses death over living in poverty it cost 20 grand for a prescription of above average tylenol for an ailment requiring morphine to stop the pain….had to go twice …took 12 weeks to pass a kidney stone…you wanna know how many times I wanted to go again…I had to be screaming in pain and defecating myself for 3 weeks straight to even get me to go there I like doctors..I like nurses…..but your bosses suck…one day when you’re the boss, try not to…it might save a life!

    Luv this lie! I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

    How many of you docs out there prefer to prescribe meds of companies which you own stock in, even if a better product may be suitable for a patient?? Raise your hands…..Ah! Pretty much all of you!

    and there it is….nothing more than greed? Am I wrong, Doc? Hows about you invite me to the club and we can discuss it?

    .Modern Version[edit]
    I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
    I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow. I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism. I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug. I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery. I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God. I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick. I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure. I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm. If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

    Sunday, 5 July 2015, 4:04 am
  • Spend…do your homework. Both hospitals random test further more or of the “classier” nurses at St joes are money hungry folks that left oak and brooksville/spring hill hospitals respectively….IDIOT!

    Saturday, 13 June 2015, 8:40 am
  • Leave it to the two hospitals that don’t randomly drug test their employees to have the highest cost lol. I was friends with people at oak hill and let me just tell you they have way too many nurses on drugs. And no, they don’t random drug test. It’s worth it to hop on the expressway and go to saint Joseph’s north. Better care, classier and the nurses care about their patients. Sorry to the sober nurses but seriously I’ve seen people do drugs that are supposed to be nurses and it makes me sick.

    Friday, 12 June 2015, 7:32 am
  • Obama Care Insures Millions of People… and Rick Scott has refused to allow access to Florida Healthcare to the Poor.

    Obama Care needs Millions of People to keep the Cost Down… and Rick Scott has refused to Expand Medicaid.

    Maybe we need a new Governor?

    Thursday, 11 June 2015, 8:48 am
    • For what do you need insurance (besides emergencies) when one knows that the health of their body is under their own control, and it’s the cultural beliefs and lifestyles that get in the way of living this simple fact?

      Thursday, 11 June 2015, 10:54 am
  • Wife was in for less then 24 hr. for a kidney stone bill to us was 63000.00, How can they get away with this???

    Thursday, 11 June 2015, 8:40 am
  • Shut up mr just sayin. You sound retarded

    Thursday, 11 June 2015, 8:33 am
  • Didn’t read all the comments but some of you need to just keep quiet. Doctors and hospitals have forgotten the Hippocratic Oath long ago, it’s ONLY about the money, it’s why they all get into the medical field these days. Stop trying to lay the blame for every single thing that isn’t beneficial to you on President Obama.

    Thursday, 11 June 2015, 4:14 am
  • Awesome johndavid

    Wednesday, 10 June 2015, 10:20 pm
  • I went to spring hill regional..was there for 35 minuets and got a Tylenol. When I left I was told the bill was 800.00 if I pay in full on the spot..if not the bill was 2,300. Well I only had a few hundred bucks on me and could not pay in full. One month later the bill came and it was 28,000 yup twenty eight thousand! Do you think a hospital would ever do that to an insurance way..and would never get paid. So does anyone realize that if a hospital would bill an uninsured person the same rate the insurance companies find acceptable more uninsured would and COULD pay their bill? Seems to me the last people who need a gouged bill are the uninsured. Why make it harder to pay? Why two different fee scales? I paid the 800 but will never pay 28 grand strictly on principal its outrageous! I was told if my insurance was paying the bill it is 800 but since I’m paying out of pocket its 28 grand! They could never pull this scam on an insurance company because it would never work and they would be charged with bill padding. That’s why so many bills go unpaid and so many good people go bankrupt ….hospital bills. Most bankruptcy in the US is medical. Sad that in such a great country that takes care of the worlds poor we have people dieing every day over money. Can’t afford the chemo meds you die .

    Wednesday, 10 June 2015, 10:09 pm
    • Unconscionable!!

      However, your chemo comment isn’t true. 97% of chemotherapy patients die within 5 years. Yep, that’s right, a 3% “cure” rate, which isn’t a cure, because that’s not how cancer is cured — BECAUSE THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS CANCER. It’s only an overly acidic body, which can be fixed by YOU.

      Thursday, 11 June 2015, 8:17 am
      • If you believe there is no such thing as cancer, how come you do not join a medical team and cure this “Over Acidic” issue that plagues our world today?
        I find it hard to believe the hundreds of doctors and TRILLIONS spend on cancer research could be solved with a few Rolaids…

        Thursday, 11 June 2015, 9:16 am
        • Sorry to burst your bubble, but Rolaids won’t cut it. There’s a growing awareness on how fresh, raw, vine- or tree-ripened properly grown fruits, berries, and melons is what the human is made to live upon. Add in botanicals (herbs) to support certain systems and organs, and you’re good to go.

          Do the research yourself. You can start by visiting at and or the YouTube channel called robertmorsend. Open your mind, it might save your life.

          Thursday, 11 June 2015, 10:39 am
        • In addition, joining a medical team isn’t the answer. You don’t need 8 years of schooling, etc., to learn what it takes to be healthy. “Medicine” is what? It’s pharmaceuticals, it’s a money-maker. Medical teams are not in the business of making health, they’re in the business of making a procedure or pill that will alleviate pains (which in no way implies that the body is healed), and collect the resulting dollars.

          Thursday, 11 June 2015, 10:47 am
  • Actually it’s about taxes.
    If a patient gets a bill for a million dollars certainly they can’t pay it, so it is written off.
    Written off means that the hospital can make a million and pay no taxes on it.
    Being cordial, one might assume that the hospital will then have more money to invest for the benefit of all the patients.
    The poor people forced to use the service without the ability to pay are never clued in on the game and are then subject to brutal collections. Their best efforts are going to be a waste of time and of no consequence to the corporation who has already sold the debt for pennies – and the writeoff.

    Wednesday, 10 June 2015, 8:11 pm
  • I was at the dentist today. I am fortunate to have insurance. I overheard a staff member quoting a phone inquiry an estimate of $1800 for services. After seeing the dentist and verifying my insurance, my quote for the same service was $230. I am experienced enough to know that my insurance is not paying the remaining $1500+ of the cost. It’s a shell game. I have worked in an industry that provides funds for medical services, reimbursed at Medicaid rate. The amount of the billing and the amount paid generally differ by 90%. That’s right, 10 cents on the $. The problem is the “asking price”, not the amount providers receive. This has been going on since WAY before Obama. If you have insurance, the rates are different. And many of the uninsured don’t pay. It’s the conscientious consumer willing to pay what’s asked that is truly being overcharged.

    Wednesday, 10 June 2015, 6:55 pm
  • What a shame the care given to the patients it just doesn’t make

    Wednesday, 10 June 2015, 4:56 pm
  • And this comes as a surprise??????

    Wednesday, 10 June 2015, 4:54 pm
  • I worked in the Healthcare Industry in Boston for many years. I’ve worked in and been treated at some of the finest hospitals in the country so why am I not seeing Mass General, Brigham and Women’s (teaching hospitals for Harvard Medical), New England Medical Center (Tufts Medical), Boston Medical Center (Boston University Medical School) etc on this list? I’m not saying that Oak Hill and Bayfront aren’t good community hospitals (truth is I’ve never been treated at either) but why would they rank so high in medical costs when compared to cutting edge, world renowned hospital such as these?

    Wednesday, 10 June 2015, 4:09 pm
    • I was a trauma nurse (trauma 1 care) at Mass General for almost 20 years before moving to Florida. YES, Boston, actually, Massachusetts in general, have some of the finest hospitals in the country. By being teaching hospitals, they can actually keep their costs down and pay employees a much higher wage. 15 years ago, I was making over $60 an hour. Shands in Florida is a good hospital too, and also a teaching hospital. I wouldn’t go to any local hospital here, if need be, I’ll drive down to Bayonet Point where they know what they’re doing.

      Wednesday, 10 June 2015, 4:46 pm
  • ceo is ken wickers

    Wednesday, 10 June 2015, 3:27 pm
  • That explains why my bills totaled over 1.2 million dollars last year! Even with insurance I was stuck with a hefty sum.

    Wednesday, 10 June 2015, 3:20 pm

    Wednesday, 10 June 2015, 2:54 pm
  • Don’t get sick.

    Wednesday, 10 June 2015, 2:53 pm
  • This news doesn’t surprise me, That’s why people go bankrupt after a hospital stay and it doesn’t even have to be a long stay. If you don’t have insurance your goose is cooked, Oak Hill with 1100% over what medicare recommends is price gouging but then again, What else is new because were always being gouged by the oil company’s on a regular basses as well.

    Wednesday, 10 June 2015, 2:30 pm
  • Thank you Obama for the cheap health care……..
    I thought the health care program was supposed to make health care cheaper on John Q. Public!

    Wednesday, 10 June 2015, 1:08 pm
    • you are ignorant. obama has nothing to do with how much for-profit hospitals charge.

      Wednesday, 10 June 2015, 2:58 pm
      • NOTHING??? Talk about ignorant? Look in a mirror!

        Wednesday, 10 June 2015, 4:09 pm
    • I know this !! My wife spent 32 days at Bayfront Hospital 28 days in I.C.U. They asked me to pay $1,280.00 up front after five months they sent me a refund of $744.00. The rest they accepted from my insurance co. WHAT DO PEOPLE WANT ???????

      Friday, 12 June 2015, 3:49 pm

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