Florida has the most expensive hospitals in the country, study finds

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TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) – The Sunshine State has some of the most expensive hospitals in the country, according to a new study by a national nurses union.

Documenting the 100 most expensive hospitals in the country by their charge-to-cost ratios, the National Nurses United study found 40 hospitals in Florida among the most expensive— the largest number of any state.

In a distant second was Texas, with only 14 hospitals on the list.

While Poinciana Medical Center topped the list, Oak Hill Hospital in Spring Hill wasn’t far behind, landing at third in the national list with a jarring 1,621% charge-to-cost ratio.

St. Petersburg General Hospital was the only other Tampa Bay area hospital in the top 10 priciest hospitals in the country, with a 1,546% charge-to-cost ratio.

With a surge of new COVID-19 cases in Florida, the cost of a hospital visit is especially jarring, as more than 54,000 people in the state have been hospitalized from coronavirus, according to the Florida Department of Health.

For many the cost of hospital care may be a deterrant for many to seek treatment, causing a ripple effect in the continuing spread of coronavirus.

“Failure to receive testing and treatment because of cost harms everyone by prolonging the pandemic, increasing its morbidity and mortality, and exacerbating its economic impact,” said health law scholar Jaime S. King in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study highlights stories of COVID-19 positive cases across the country, including a patient in Florida, who visited an emergency room believing he had Covid and received a battery of tests, eventually being stuck with a bill of more than $2,700.

Nationally, coronavirus hospitalizations can cost anywhere from $51,389 for patients between 21 and 40-years-old to $78,569 for patients between 41 and 60 years old, according to data from FAIR Health.

“There is no excuse for these scandalous prices,” union president Jean Ross said in a statement. “These are not markups for luxury condo views, they are for the most basic necessity of your life: your health.”

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