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Indiana Hospital Prices Higher In Areas With Fewer Options

A generic shot of a doctor's chest with a stethoscope.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Indiana health care prices are much higher than in many other states and a new analysis points to even higher prices in some areas. 

The new report finds prices in areas including Fort Wayne and Evansville are higher than in areas where Hoosiers have more options. 

Michael Hicks is the director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University. He points to mergers and consolidation.

"The fewness of hospitals, the more monopolized they are, the higher the prices and the higher the profitability," says Hicks. 

Indiana nonprofit hospital systems made nearly $1.5 billion in profit in 2017.  

Hicks says Hoosiers are already paying more than people in other states.

"The average Hoosier is paying about $819 more than the average American," says Hicks. "At the same time our health outcomes are slipping a bit." 

The analysis recommends policy changes that include breaking up hospital monopolies, price transparency and taxing not for profit systems. 

Contact Jill at jsheridan@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @JillASheridan.

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