Report: Wide payment disparities to RI hospitals

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A state-commissioned study has found wide disparities in insurance payments to Rhode Island hospitals.

The Providence Journal reports (http://bit.ly/pX8RJW) that insurers, for example, paid on average three times more for patients who were admitted to Kent Hospital for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease than for those with the same diagnosis at Our Lady of Fatima Hospital.

The study also says Rhode Island Hospital was paid four times more to evaluate emergency room patients with chest pain than for the same work at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island.

The 2010 review was released on Wednesday.

Health Insurance Commissioner Christopher F. Koller, who commissioned the report, said the disparities raise questions about whether employers and subscribers get their money's worth for health insurance.

An executive at Lifespan hospital system says the report doesn't account for high medical costs.

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Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com

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