I think I have heard enough of the insults flung at the hospital implying that it somehow is a money hungry savage, stealing our money or "gouging this community." It is not. I have had the unfortunate (unfortunate only in that sickness can never be classified as a good thing) privilege and honor of being a patient at this hospital as well as many other hospitals. I have compared my bills and I see little difference. Expensive? Yes. More than anyone else? No. The entire healthcare system is financially broken and needs fixing and CPH will have to adjust along with every other provider very soon.
People seem to find many excuses for their anger which is also a contributor to the overall problems in healthcare. In particularly the ones who complain because they use the emergency department for their non-emergent care and then complain about emergency room costs. If you stop using the ER for your primary care provider, you will find it is easier on your pocket book. As far as CPH, we have a hospital that has done something few government owned entities have done -- become self-sufficient and put money back in your pocket as a taxpayer. Don't believe me? Take out your borough tax records for 2008 and compare it to your most recent tax assessment for the hospital. It goes from 1.00 mills down to .02 for the hospital. A 98 percent reduction! CPH is making mine and your debt payments while charging the same or less as other hospitals in Alaska. At the same time, CPH has high patient satisfaction scores that are the envy of many hospitals in Alaska and they win quality awards year after year. Perfect? No, but better than most by a long shot.
My payments cover not just my health care but for services that I pray to God that I will never need such as the sexual assault response team and Serenity House treatment centers that assist others in this community. These services make this community a better place and I will gladly support them even if it means potential higher premium on my healthcare. I understand the simple fact that my dollars are not just about my personal healthcare but the healthcare of this community that I live, play, work and raise children in. I would rather these services be supported by my healthcare dollars than to imagine what this community would be without these services.