JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The National Nurses United released their findings Thursday on which hospitals have the highest charges. Florida ranks second in the nation when it comes to high prices at hospitals.
The organization says that eight hospitals in the Sunshine State charge 10 times more than their treatments cost.
According to the National Nurses United, the most expensive hospital in the Nation is Orange Park Medical Center. After analyzing 4,300 hospitals across the country, the nation's largest nurse's group said that Orange Park Medical Center, a for-profit hospital, charges insurance companies and the uninsured more than 10 times the average cost. That's 1,139 percent, meaning OPMC charges, on average, $1,186 for every $100 of its total care.
"What that means is they are charging $1,139 for every $100 of their total cost. That is almost obscene in the amount of money that they are asking for, whether it's payers from insurance companies to private payers," said NNU's Charles Idelson.
It's a costly burden health leaders said causes many to forego treatment.
Idelson compared Orange Park Medical Center's cost to other hospitals in the Jacksonville area. The charges and total cost are much lower:
Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville is charging $407 for every $100 of their total cost, while Baptist medical center in Nassau County is charging $414 for every $100 of their total cost. Using that same formula, St. Vincent Southside charges $483, Memorial Hospital charges $811, and the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville is charging $313 for every $100 of their total costs.
"We would like to see action by our elected leaders, such as tougher regulations on price gauging by hospitals," said Idelson. "They should also crack down on predatory pricing by drug companies and other profiteering elements in the healthcare industry."
Carolyn McClanahan shares similar feelings. The former physician turned financial planner told Channel 4 that people need to be more selective with their hospital choice.
"In all honesty, I think more people should look at hospital costs and consider going to non-profit hospitals," said McClanahan.
Orange Park Medical Center sent Channel 4 a statement when asked about the NNU's findings.
"What patients pay has more to do with the type of coverage they have than charges. Government programs like Medicare and Medicaid determine how much they reimburse hospitals. Insurance plans negotiate their payments. Everyone else is eligible for our charity care program or they receive our uninsured discounts, which are similar to the discounts a private insurance plan gets," said David Goldberg, Orange Park Medical Center, director of marketing and public relations.