A man hospitalized with COVID-19 is given medicine. Credit: Getty Images
Florida hospitals charge more for their services than anywhere in the country, with seven of the 10 most expensive hospitals located in the Sunshine State, according to a study released this week by a nationwide union representing registered nurses.
The National Nurses United study documented the 100 U.S. hospitals with the highest costs and found that the most expensive facilities are “located in states in the west and south.”
Florida accounted for most of hospitals listed, with 40; Texas had the second highest number with 14 hospitals.
Those seven Florida hospitals are Poinciana Medical Center in Kissimmee; North Okaloosa Medical Center in Crestview; Oak Hill Hospital in Spring Hill; Orange Park Medical Center in Orange Park; St. Petersburg General Hospital in St. Petersburg; Fort Walton Beach Medical Center in Fort Walton Beach; and Twin Cities Hospital in Niceville.
Union president and registered nurse Jean Ross said in a written statement:
“There is no excuse for these scandalous prices. These are not markups for luxury condo views, they are for the most basic necessity of your life: your health.”
The data in the report are based on Medicare hospital cost reports “for 4,203 hospitals for fiscal year 2018,” the most recent available data, according to the union.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the staggering hospital costs exacerbates the health care crisis, with millions of people in the country already struggling to afford health insurance and the Affordable Care Act being challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court, the union noted.
The study shows that both insured and uninsured patients have been stuck with high medical bills associated with COVID-19 treatment and testing.
For instance, the report cited a man in Florida “who visited an emergency room believing he had COVID-19 and received a battery of tests, ended up being stuck with a bill for over $2,700.”
“Americans are not only worried about contracting COVID-19, but they are also increasingly worried about paying for the testing and unexpected health expenses that may arise as a result,” the NNU report said.
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