Danese: Worried about Centura’s acquisition of High Country Healthcare (letter)
As a patient at High Country Healthcare and having recently had experience with Centura — through their ownership of St. Anthony’s Hospital in Frisco — I’m concerned by this announcement.
Recently, I visited my doctor at HCH, was advised to immediately get an MRI and was referred to St. Anthony’s … immediately, as in drive-there-directly-from-HCH-and-get-it-done-right-away. Good news is that all tests revealed no serious health issues.
However, St. Anthony’s billed my insurance $5,571 for this procedure, of which I am responsible for 20 percent. That sounded like an exorbitantly high price, but, having never had an MRI, I assumed it was in the ballpark of fair and reasonable. When I got home, I did 15 minutes of research and was surprised and upset to easily find that this price was indeed way, way out of line.
One call to Advanced Medical Imaging in Denver, and I had a price of $585 that would have been billed to my insurance for precisely the same procedure. That’s a difference of $4,986 in the price billed to my insurance company and a savings of $997 for my 20 percent out of pocket.
I can accept prices being a bit higher when in a hospital and when comparing Summit County to Denver, but almost 10 times higher? I don’t know any other way to view this, other than taking advantage of local citizens and tourists.
I hope this type of pricing does not work its way into HCH’s business practices and that this specific issue at St. Anthony’s is addressed.
I also want to say that the local staff at both St. Anthony’s and HCH have always been wonderful to deal with, and I put the onus squarely on corporate Centura.
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