Parkview Health made national news May 9 when The New York Times ran a story that scrutinized the billing practices of certain hospitals and health care providers.
In the Times article, it referenced a newly published study from the RAND Corp. about hospital pricing in 25 states. Indiana was one of the states surveyed for the study, which revealed that Parkview had charged private insurance companies around four times more than it had charged Medicare for the same services.
Colorado was also cited in the Times article for high price discrepancies.
Parkview’s CEO Mike Packnett was quoted in the story as saying that the health network was in the process of determining the best ways to provide quality, affordable care.
In a statement issued after the story, Parkview reasoned that hospital pricing is more complicated than just a dollar amount on a bill, as well as echoing some of the same sentiments Packnett had said to the Times.
“Focusing on hospital pricing alone won’t allow employers to achieve their health care cost goals,” the statement read. “As we talk with employers across the region, they understand that quality and quantity of care must be considered as well. The good news is that we are already working with a number of employers and other partners across the region to achieve their health care goals. We look forward to working with even more employers in the future to create innovative models of care that achieve our shared goal of delivering the best care at the best cost.”
Shortly after the story went public, the American Hospital Association issued a written statement calling into question the accuracy and reliability of the RAND study.
“We have a number of concerns about the report released today by RAND Corp,” the statement read. “Most notably, the authors themselves point out that the study’s key limitation is its small sample size – less than 5 percent of all covered persons in about half of all states, and just 2 percent of the 181 million Americans with employer-sponsored insurance nationally.”