We’re Paying More for Hospital Care in Quincy

Everyone should have access to high-quality, affordable healthcare. And yet, for more than a year, COVID-19 has increased dependence on healthcare services while exacerbating and expanding gaps in care for traditionally and systemically underserved people and communities. BSG Analytics LLC completed a report as a benchmark on the Quincy region’s healthcare costs. Understanding those costs is a critical step toward developing actionable solutions for the patients and communities that need them most. Key findings include:

Monopolistic hospitals, on average, inflate costs up to 12% higher than other healthcare service providers. Blessing Hospital is more than double that.

A recent study conducted by Blessing Hospital’s own consulting firm confirmed their prices are 50% higher than the market median for outpatient services for rural Illinois hospitals.

Blessing Hospital’s billed inpatient charges are on average 26% higher than area hospitals as a percentage of Medicare reimbursement. Blessing’s outpatient charges are 33% higher than the mean of the 9 hospitals analyzed, including their surgery center pricing.

Blessing Hospital charged commercial insurers almost one-third more on average for outpatient imaging procedures (CAT scans, MRIs, X-Rays, ultrasounds and nuclear medicine) and its cash price for people without insurance was 20% higher on average.

Newborn deliveries cost 31% to 112% more at Blessing Hospital, depending on the type of delivery, than the median prices of nine other hospitals analyzed including small regional hospitals like Hannibal and large metropolitan hospitals like Barnes Jewish.

Blessing Hospital’s billed charges were one-third higher than the median of the nine hospitals analyzed. For the selected procedure codes analyzed, its billed charges were more than double those charged by Boone Hospital Center and Hannibal Regional Hospital.

Blessing Hospital receives an average reimbursement or payment of between 49% and 124% more from commercial insurers for hospital procedures compared to area hospitals.

As a result of this elevated pricing, patients are traveling farther – many times to Missouri – to get care. Forty-two percent of inpatient spend for two employers migrated to non-Blessing Hospital inpatient facilities, including 6% to Hannibal Regional Hospital (25 miles away), 6% to HSHS St. John’s in Springfield (110 miles away) and 14% to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis (135 miles away). Patients using these hospitals incur additional costs for gas, food and lodging.

Elevated pricing and the costs of travel for care, disproportionately affects people who are economically disadvantaged and those with chronic health conditions.