Letter to the Editor

by Dr. Todd Petty

Published in the Quincy Herald-Whig

Everyone should have access to high-quality, low-cost care. We take seriously the conversations we have had with members of our community over the years, and as a result, we improved the way we deliver care. The QMG Cancer Institute expanded in size and scope to improve outcomes. We developed the QMG Surgery Center, which adds the state’s first outpatient cardiac catheterization lab and lowers surgical prices. Our next step is QMG Hospital.

Everything we do is focused on improving care for our 136,000 patients.

Since announcing plans for QMG Hospital – a state-of-the-art, 25 med-surg bed hospital designed to improve outcomes while reducing costs – we have received overwhelming support from patients, community leaders and employers. We planned the new facility in response to input from area residents regarding hospital-based care, and we are humbled by the hundreds of patients who have told the certificate of need board they want and need this hospital.

One of the biggest concerns we have heard is that people want more affordable local healthcare. Limited options have resulted in Adams County-area residents paying disproportionately high rates for hospital care. We even pay more than Chicago and St. Louis, in some cases. And yet, everyone agrees that competition leads to higher quality care and lower costs.

As the Herald-Whig reported (Study identifies higher health care costs at Blessing, April 22), two separate studies – including one by Blessing’s own consultant – found that Blessing Hospital charges patients far more and sometimes even double other hospitals in the region. A survey revealed that 80% of Quincy-area employers believe trending healthcare costs represented “a threat to business operations” and share our view that more competition could help lower healthcare spend. High healthcare costs are particularly problematic for those with chronic health conditions and those who are economically disadvantaged.

We have already seen how choice and competition improve healthcare for the residents of our region. As Blessing’s CEO said in 2019 when deciding to build a new surgery center shortly after QMG’s surgery center was approved, our community wants “greater convenience, ease of access and choice when needing healthcare.” We could not agree more.

We have dedicated our lives to our patients. Serving the communities where we live and work is who we are at QMG. We are grateful to be part of a community that puts patients’ needs first, and QMG Hospital will be an important part of that.

Todd Petty, MD
Chairman of the Quincy Medical Group Board of Directors