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Hospital costs

Published: Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

Interesting article (“Immigrant care costs on the rise,” Sept. 18).

This article makes the claim that Centegra Health System “just takes the loss” when it treats undocumented immigrants or others with low and/or no insurance. It also said that in the case of undocumented immigrants, patients who require post-hospital treatment might often stay at the hospital for weeks and months at a time since nursing homes and rehab facilities are reluctant to accept the cost to service those patients.

The result often leaves the hospital to pick up the tab for the treatment. Nursing homes and rehab facilities are private facilities and cannot pass the cost onto other patients.

“But at Centegra Health System, that is often the cost of doing business as a community health-care provider. It also is an issue that applies to every patient who is uninsured or underinsured, according to Astrid Larsen, director of care coordination at Centegra.”

If this hospital or any other hospital absorbed these costs, the doctors and staff would quit and go elsewhere, and the hospital would be out of business.

Face it, folks. There’s no way any hospital can absorb these costs without passing them onto paying customers, patients with insurance. Know why your insurance premiums increase? Read this over again.

LaVonne C. Mittermayer

Lake in the Hills

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