Hospital prices in Georgia are among the highest in the nation, according to a recent study by the Rand Corporation.
The 2019 study (reported by WABE) found that Georgia ranked in the top one-third of 25 states in terms of hospital prices. The state’s high hospital prices are likely due to a combination of factors, including a lack of price regulation and a high concentration of hospital ownership.
Higher prices than neighboring states
In comparison to other states, Georgia’s hospital prices are significantly higher than the national average. For example, the study found that neighboring states North Carolina and Tennessee had prices that were 11 percent and 35 percent lower than Georgia, respectively. Other states with relatively low hospital prices include New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
Lack of rate-setting and high concentration of ownership
Georgia is one of the few states in the country that does not have any form of rate-setting or price regulation for hospitals. This lack of oversight allows hospitals to charge whatever prices they see fit, which can lead to higher prices for patients. In addition, Georgia has a high concentration of hospital ownership, with many of them owned by large, for-profit corporations. These corporations tend to have higher prices than non-profit or government-owned hospitals.
Effect on patients
Uninsured individuals will experience the greatest impact of Georgia’s high cost of hospitalization. Institutions and corporations can absorb costs with relative ease, but the average person in Georgia is not so well-equipped to handle a five or six-digit hospital bill.
With such high hospital costs, a serious accident can quickly turn an injured person’s finances upside down. It is essential that injured individuals receive compensation to help them manage these expenses.