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Linda Olson: Carris Health take over is costly

The letter writer complains about shot change and increase cost at Carris Health.

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Reader Opinion letter

How timely that the Rice Hospital will now display Carris Health as it logo.

I recently received notice that an injection that I have taken monthly for approximately seven years at the shot clinic of the former ACMC was now to be given only at the Willmar Cancer Center Carris Health.

I found this disturbing, so I investigated the event.

I was told not to worry as I had Medicare and health insurance. This made me even more suspect.

I called and found out the cost of the injection increased $6,000 dollars, the administration of the shot was twice as expensive, and no one could tell me the “facility usage” fee.

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This means a cost of $9,450 (October 2019) increased to $15,000 (November 2019).

This was a transfer to a facility within the same Carris Care health system.

The explanation was that they were standardizing care, reducing pharmacy costs, and overlapping services.

Larger medical corporations are taking over smaller facilities. When a service is moved from a clinic to a “hospital clinic,” they can increase charges and receive a greater reimbursement from the government and insurance companies.

They are also trying to qualify under a government law 304B for greater reimbursement.

I find this practice totally unethical.

The phrase “Don’t worry you have Medicare and health insurance” plays into an already broken system.

What about those who are unfortunate and have no insurance?

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Please check with cost and follow through on changes that may be impacting you as a patient. Don’t assume the costs will remain the same and question all procedures you may be subject to.

This includes “routine” care and exam costs.

The real question for you is: “Is this ethical and is the patient the focus of care?”

Linda Olsen

Willmar

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