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STATEHOUSE — You have heard advocates for Indiana’s hospitals blast a bill that they say would put “price caps” in place to cut healthcare costs.
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Indiana Lawmakers is now in its 42nd season! Only in production during the Indiana General Assembly’s sessions, this show keeps Hoosiers updated on the hottest issues being debated by the state’s legislators.
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For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Savannah Kerstiens (812) 309-1212
Wednesday, February 9, 2022
Hoosiers for Affordable Healthcare has engaged its team of nationally renowned health and economic policy experts to carefully review a report recently released by the Indiana Hospital Association regarding the cost of insurance in Indiana.
Over the past several years, two studies by the RAND Corporation, a study by Harvard University, and a study by the Health Care Cost Institute have come to the same conclusion: The prices Hoosiers pay for hospital care are significantly higher than the national average. High prices show up in premiums, deductibles, and copayments, and accounting for all of those factors results in Hoosiers still spending far more on health care than people in most other states,” Al Hubbard, Hoosiers for Affordable Healthcare Board Chairman stated.
“We have asked our policy team to thoroughly analyze the recent report released and cited by the Indiana Hospital Association. Our policy team has expressed initial concerns about the methodology, including that the main methodology in the report excluded nearly three-quarters of the private market—those employers who self-insure. We will provide a thorough analysis to assist policy makers as they work to lower the price of hospital care for Hoosiers,” Hubbard said.
“Hoosier employers and individuals are acutely aware of just how expensive hospital care is in Indiana, and those that have businesses in multiple states are vocal about the fact that they pay more for care in Indiana than in virtually every other state. We have heard time and time again that the cost of hospital care in Indiana is an economic development disadvantage, and that it limits the ability of Hoosier employers to raise wages for their employees and grow their business.
“We are encouraged that IU Health has already committed to lowering their prices to the national average within the next few years. We hope other Indiana hospitals commit to this same important goal to help Indiana businesses’ flourish and to preserve greater net take-home pay for Hoosier families.”
Hoosiers for Affordable Healthcare is a 501(c)(4) coalition founded in 2020 to advocate for policies that lead to lower healthcare prices, particularly hospital prices, in Indiana.
Op-ed written by Hoosiers for Affordable Healthcare Chair Al Hubbard and Hoosiers for Affordable Healthcare Board Vice Chair and Employers’ Forum of Indiana’s President and CEO Dr. Gloria Sachdev
Friday, April 8, 2022
On January 4, 2022, Indiana Speaker of the House Todd Huston (R-Fishers) and Senate President Pro Tempore Rod Bray (R-Martinsville) publicly called on eight Indiana not-for-profit hospitals with prices above the national average to present a plan to the legislature by April 1, 2022, that would lower Indiana’s hospital prices to at least a national average by January 1, 2025. The letter stated that “absent a viable plan, we (the legislature) will be left with no choice but to pursue legislation to statutorily reduce prices.” Earlier this week, Pro Tempore Bray and Speaker Huston publicly released the plans that were submitted.
Hoosiers for Affordable Healthcare has reviewed the six publicly available responses. With a couple of notable exceptions, we find the results to be extremely disappointing. To its credit, IU Health distinguished itself as a leader among hospital respondents by committing to lowering its prices to the national average by January 1, 2025.
While we call on IU Health to commit to a more aggressive timeline and believe that the more than $9 billion in cash reserves that IU Health boasts gives it the opportunity to do just that, we do commend their commitment to lowering the prices Hoosiers pay to the national average and encourage them to adopt transparent accountability practices to document their progress.
The other 7 hospitals:
- Ascension Health _did not commit_to lowering its prices to the national average by January 1, 2025?
- Community Health Network _did not commit_to lowering its prices to the national average by January 1, 2025
- Deaconess Hospital _did not commit_to lowering its prices to the national average by January 1, 2025, but did articulate the fact that its prices are currently exceptionally close to the national average
- Franciscan Health _did not commit_to lowering its prices to the national average by January 1, 2025
- Parkview Health _did not commit_to lowering their prices to the national average by January 1, 2025, however, it did commit that its prices would be 22% lower in 2025 than they were in 2020 when adjusted for inflation
- No response from Beacon Health or Union Health was publicly released as of 4-8-22.
Concurrent with the letter sent to hospitals in January, Speaker Huston and Pro Tempore Bray sent a letter to the state’s health insurance carriers requesting that they work collaboratively with hospitals to present a plan to lower the out-of-control costs of hospital care in Indiana and to ensure that all savings are passed on to the consumer.
The Insurance Institute of Indiana, in conjunction with the Indiana Association of Health Plans, did commit to working with hospitals to enter contract negotiations targeting prices that are at or below the national average. It’s critical insurers negotiate aggressively on behalf of Hoosiers. We insist on high value health care.
Legislative leaders made a direct request of hospital systems to lower their prices to the national average by January 1, 2025. The vast majority of the responses that were submitted appear to intentionally ignore and disregard that request. Rather than offering solutions to lower Indiana’s high hospital prices, it seems that the vast majority of hospitals are openly inviting the heavy hand of government regulation to achieve this critically important goal.
Hoosiers for Affordable Healthcare will continue working with all stakeholders to lower the high cost of hospital care in Indiana.
Allan B. Hubbard, Chairman of Hoosiers for Affordable Healthcare
Dr. Gloria Sachdev, PharmD, Vice Chairwoman of Hoosiers for Affordable Healthcare