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Prices at CPH are hurting community

Posted: February 20, 2012 - 9:53am

I am outraged at CPH when I think of the hardships they have caused people over the years with their inflated "prices," especially since a lot of times it isn't quality care that is recieved.

Our "not for profit" hospital made good enough money they wanted to sell it (CPGH had to have been making a good profit to even try to get someone interested in buying it or it wouldn't have been a viable business venture for anyone to invest in since prices are already inflated).

Ask how many lawsuits have been brought against the hospital the past 5-8 years. I know that the Maternity Ward alone has had several lawsuits against them in this time frame.

Why does CPH feel the need to advertise on television and in the newspaper when they are the only hospital here? They have no competition in the area so why do they feel the need to advertise?

When labor contracts come due, the employees of CPH always say disputes are over working conditions -- not money -- yet they always want raises also.

All I know is it shouldn't cost $10,000-plus for a broken leg or appendix being removed (these costs are from 10-15 years ago!).

The borough mayor, borough council and hospital board members should all recuse themselves from this issue as they are personally involved and cannot give an unbiased opinion.

One can only hope that "what comes around, goes around" and that all concerned will get what they deserve in this piracy of our community.

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robert white
378
Points
robert white 02/20/12 - 10:44 am
0
0
CHP

They could care less about the little people!! This is a money machine with aspirations of being a super clinic..

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 02/20/12 - 09:05 pm
2
0
Now there is Proof that CPH Charges Too Much

Mon. 2/20/12
Please make the time to read "Statewide Healthcare Cost are Biting Harder" by Tim Bradner.

Documented Proof that Our Local Hospital & Doctors are charging way too much & gouging local Residents.

I have stated many times that CPH charges Above & Beyond
the Usual & Customary Fees & not a single response from Our Hospital or Our Doctors. Imagine That !

$Millions of Dollars in Profits$ & they still continue to Charge Too Much.
How about using those Millions to Lower the Cost for Local Residents. The Residents PAID FOR THE HOSPITAL now use those Profits for the Benefit of the Residents.

Your Jaw will Drop when You become informed as to How Much YOU are being OverCharged & Gouged by Our Hospital & Our Doctors. They wouldn't Do That Would They?
SPW in Sloooooowdotna

JOAT
490
Points
JOAT 02/21/12 - 10:14 am
0
0
Marxists

Ya'll Marxist liberals crack me up. Why do you single out this one business in all of our community? Why are you not complaining about the charged prices at all the other businesses? Have you gone down and looked at what they are charging for a boat or a snowmachine lately? Have you been shopping for groceries and noticed the tab at the checkout? Put gasoline in anything lately?

Health care is NOT a government function or a "right". It is a service business. If you want the service, pay for it. If you don't like how much one service provider charges, take your business elsewhere. Capitalism is pretty simple and it works.

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 02/21/12 - 11:04 am
0
0
The Hospital IS a Gov. function

JOAT, Tue 2/21/12
Our Hospital IS a Government Function when Our Personal Property Taxes has PAID FOR Our Hospital.

Our Hospital is NOT a Privately Owned Business.

Just like Our Fire Dept or Police Dept Our Hospital was PAID FOR by the Local Residents thru Personal Property Taxes.

Therefore I sincerely believe that any Profits should benefit the local residents by LOWERING the FEES Charged to Local Residents.
Now there is documented Proof that Residents are being charged too much.

SPW "Airborne"

jlmh
352
Points
jlmh 02/21/12 - 12:24 pm
1
0
Yes, spwright, local medical

Yes, spwright, local medical care differs from boats, snowmachines, gas and groceries because those are sold by private businesses, whereas our hospital is a non-profit community-owned asset.

As for "taking our business elsewhere," have you kept up with local events at all? Residents want to take their business elsewhere - specifically, to the surgery center that Kahtnu Ventures is trying to build. But the hospital and borough assembly are fighting tooth and nail to ban the surgeons from starting any business that might compete for surgery revenue. The status quo is Marxist. Our hospital shouldn't be granted a monopoly on local surgery.

Allen
636
Points
Allen 02/21/12 - 10:10 pm
1
0
SP Wright and others should

SP Wright and others should read the actual reports cited by Tim Bradner before spouting off. Those two reports, by the Milliman, Inc. audit firm, state that it is PRIVATE physicians and PRIVATE hospitals that are driving up the costs of health care in Alaska, not public hospitals like Central Peninsula Hospital. Our community hospital actually comes off looking pretty good in the Milliman report on hospitals.

The reports are on the State of Alaska's website, at:
http://www.hss.state.ak.us/healthcommission/2011commissionreport.htm

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 02/22/12 - 08:48 am
0
0
"Private' was not even mentioned ? 2/23/12

Wed. 2/23/12
Well I just read the newspaper again & Not Once was the word "Private" even mentioned. There was no comparision between the Public & Private Hospitals.
Obviously Allen You did not make the time to read the newspaper before You commented.

Everyone already knows any medical procedure or service provided in a Hospital is going to Cost twice or three times as much as it does elsewhere. This newspaper article now provides documented Proof.
Alaska Health Care Commission University of Alaska Institute
of Social & Economic Research provided the information.

We the Residents of the Central Peninsula were Taxed for over 30 years thru Personal Property Tax & the RESIDENTS PAID FOR THE HOSPITAL. We have the Right to Know the
Costs for Fees & Services.
I drove the Concrete Truck that delivered the Concrete to the Hospital Project & Tri-City Construction back in the day & have been Paying for Our Hospital ever since. Local Residents have EARNED the Right to Know. This is not a Privilege, this is a EARNED RIGHT TO KNOW. Hospital Management does NOT get to decide who has access to this information.

SPW "Airborne"

cheapersmokes
1058
Points
cheapersmokes 02/22/12 - 10:00 am
0
0
I wonder if both parties have ever discussed this!

How come I can find no information on if both parties have ever even once sat down and discussed their concerns and issues in an attempt to come to an agreement. I support people having the chance to develop and implement their own business plans as long as they are willing to assume all risks and possible rewards and not have the government stick their big butt in the way on every step!

tnakrn
0
Points
tnakrn 02/22/12 - 12:35 pm
1
1
Hearsay

The statement "I know that the Maternity Ward alone has had several lawsuits against them in this time frame" is a lie. It isn't just an exaggeration. It is a lie. Maybe one of the doctors who delivers babies has been sued in that time frame (that would be private and I wouldn't have any way of knowing) but the OB department has not. I suggest you look up the definition of the word "libel".

"Non-profit" does not mean you don't strive to make a profit. This is one of the biggest misunderstandings in this town. Non profit means profits are not divided among investors, but reinvested into the institution. The hospital isn't being greedy or unethical because it is striving to operate with a profit. There seems to be this belief that a non-profit business will and can operate at a loss without consequence. Non profit is just an IRS designation.

Health care does cost too much. The reasons are much too complicated to expound upon here. The hospital advertises because it DOES compete with Anchorage facilities, especially for Homer and Seward residents.

Recent union disputes (only the nurses are in a union at the hospital) were over very specific working conditions (certain on call situations primarily). Yes, a wage increase always gets negotiated. When a union is involved EVERYTHING must be renegotiated when the contract renews every so many years. There are 2 nurses in the past who have been very vocal about publicly insulting the hospital administration and insinuating that "working conditions" at the hospital are terrible. They speak for themselves only, and I only wish they could appreciated the damage they have caused to the hospital's reputation. The fact that one of these nurses was able to keep his job for so long is a testament to the tolerance of CPH's management.

witchwitch
51
Points
witchwitch 02/23/12 - 04:30 pm
0
0
Our hospital does not operate in a Capitalist system

Those who want to call people fascists for questioning the costs to local citizens fail to understand capitalism. Our hospital system does not operate in a purely capitalist system.

The CON system (Certificate of Need), protects our hospital from competition, which is a critical component of the free market system. When our government stops competition, then capitalism is thereby denied. Without free and unfettered competition, capitalism does not exist.

Our government regulations support the current monopolistic system that governs the operation of all hospitals. Many regulations effectively restrict free enterprise in our health care system. Those regulations give these entities a free hand to raise prices and restricts free market options which would drive down costs.

Within the governmental framework that currently exists the only free enterprise option is to leave this country for medical care. I have done that and have realized savings of over 75%. This option is impossible for most people.

In my opinion, our current system is badly flawed. Many people never receive needed medical help, only to receive care too late to be done for their maximum benefit or cost efficiency.

I have a friend that had to pay almost $30,000 for his medical treatment, which included a trip to the emergency room and out-patient treatment to remove kidney stones. I suspect that much of that charge will not be collected, and will be picked up by those with insurance. Those unpaid bills are paid by consumers through higher insurance premiums.

Our system is badly flawed. I believe that a free enterprise solution could fix this issue, although I don't believe that the political will to make this happen will magically appear. The other alternative will be to have a socialized system, like every other industrialized nation has. While this is not the best solution, in my opinion, at least it would be an improvement over our existing system.

It's wrong for people to work hard all their life and then to have a medical condition wipe out their savings. We do need a better, more equitable system. The answer could be obtained through some kind of sweeping reform, although the ability for our national government to make meaningful, equitable reform is questionable at best.

If you get sick, you should have choices. Our current system limits those choices and provides noncompetitive solutions that are draining the wealth from an already damaged economy. Denying poor people medical services should not be seen as a solution, when we live in the wealthiest nation on the planet.

JOAT
490
Points
JOAT 02/24/12 - 09:50 am
0
0
Unpaid hospital bills

Quite incorrect about the status of unpaid hospital bills. First, there is no effect on your insurance. Insurance only pays out what they have agreed to pay upfront (at the time you buy the policy). If you fail to pay your portion or an uninsured person doesn't pay their hospital bill, the insurance company does not cover those costs. That is a debt between the patient and the hospital.

If someone has a debt to the hospital and they don't pay it or make arrangements to pay it over time, the hospital sells those debts to outside collection agencies. They currently use a collection agency based up in Anchorage. Once that private company has the bad debt, it is up to them to obtain payment and I believe they add some serious penalties and interest onto the original hospital bill.

In the end, the patient either pays their debt or goes bankrupt. Any money not collected by the hospital eventually is written off as bad debt. In a round about way, it is then the taxpayer who is covering the cost as the written off debt is of tax benefit to the company.

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 02/24/12 - 10:10 am
0
0
Cost Shifting 2/24/12

Fri 2/24/12 The following is a Proven Fact & has been for decades.

Cost Shifting : The practice of raising the Cost of Medical Procedures & Services to cover the cost of People that can not or will not pay their medical debts.
Of course that immediately raises the cost of Medical Insurance. Procedures & Services cost more therefore medical insurance cost more A never ending vicious circle of
increased cost & debt.

SPW "Airborne"

jlmh
352
Points
jlmh 02/25/12 - 09:04 pm
0
0
You're both right. Insured

You're both right. Insured patients are not directly billed for costs that other patients fail to pay, but hospitals do raise prices unilaterally to make up for losses from non-payment. Insurance companies are constantly renegotiating "in network" reimbursement rates because of this. That is no different than any type of business. Retail outlets also calculate their percentage of lost sales revenue from shoplifting, and make up for it by raising the price of merchandise. The only difference is that patients, unlike thieves, need the medical care they receive, and typically have no idea what their costs will be until long afterward.

Tax payers are not really covering the cost either. Debts are sold to collection agencies for less than they are worth. The trade-off is that you are getting less than you are owed, but at least you are getting something, you're getting it now, and you're not putting any more resources into collecting it. The benefit for the collection agencies is that they can collect the full amount of the debt, and the difference between what they paid for it and what it's worth is their profit. There may be fees involved as well. The loss that any business takes (in this case, the hospital) may be written off on taxes, but they are not recouping the full cost by doing so. If someone defaults on their $30K bill, the hospital does not get to knock off $30K from the taxes they owe. Instead, their taxes are calculated on $30K less income than if they would have been paid (and that's if the full amount is deductible). They probably only get a break of a few hundred dollars off their taxes, nowhere near the amount they are out.

SXQ
65
Points
SXQ 02/27/12 - 09:12 pm
0
0
Chew on this

I have been in the healthcare field for over 30 yrs, I got into it to help people and make a difference but nowadays all it is about is the almighty dollar.
This is my opinion of what the problem is:
Insurance companies say what screenings, medication or treatments are acceptable since they all have medical training and can make those judgment calls on pts they have never seen. What about the pt that sees a Physician and the Dr. orders a stat MRI or CT scan, CPH doesn't have extra coverage after hrs or on the weekends as these are normally scheduled tests but if the pt goes through the ED then they can get the test, so they are not only paying for an office visit but now the lucky winners get to pay an ED bill on top of that. And how about mammograms, how many pts with insurance get called back because "something" was seen, check that one out. If its about pts and their care then CPH would be supportive to a surgical center instead of opposition.

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