Phoebe chief lays out price reasoning - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Phoebe chief lays out price reasoning

  July 13, 2007

Albany --  Phoebe Putney's CEO blames the hospital's increased prices on cutbacks in Medicaid,  Medicare, and insurance reimbursements.  

This week, Phoebe Putney announced an across the board six percent increase for in-patient and out-patient services.

Friday at the Exchange Club, many people who use the hospital and see it as profitable wanted to know why such a big increase.

CEO Joel Wernick said the hospital only expects to get about one and a half of the six percent increase.

"Indigent care, medicare, medicaid discounts to insurance companies, all of those go to offset what we actually charge everybody," said Wernick. "Because we charge everybody the same thing, it's what we actually get paid by everybody, and in the case of Medicaid with the major changes they've made in the last year, we're actually being paid significantly below what it costs us to provide the service."

Wernick told the crowd there's an inherent unfairness when it comes to medical expenses and emphasized the need for a national health care plan.

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