Lawmakers To Plan A Comprehensive Look At Hospital Costs

Nov 20, 2018

State Senator Ray Peterson
Credit Wyoming legislature

A Wyoming Legislative Committee is moving forward with a plan to hire consultants to perform a comprehensive study of the costs associated with Hospital Care.  

Senator Charles Scott said Wyoming ranks in top ten when it comes to most expensive hospital care in the country. The study will also look at a variety of other things, including lost revenue opportunities. Scott noted that Hospitals and other medical providers are missing out on revenue as people get their care out of state. He and others want to look into ways to stop that. Senator Ray Peterson who represents a rural part of northern Wyoming said the answer is obvious.

“It’s no mystery why these patients are being referred to Billings from my Senate District. That’s where the specialists are for testing, for procedures, for operations, for everything. Because the services aren’t available in these local hospitals. “

Wyoming Hospital Association President Eric Boley said the plan is to connect more state hospitals with specialists who can come to a community periodically and keep patients in the state. He also urged the committee to look at the impact of not passing Medicaid Expansion in the state. 

“If we are going to take a look at the cost of health care, cost shifting and all those things, expansion should be included in this to see what impact this would have had.”

Boley said other states in the region have expanded Medicaid, and Wyoming has become an island. The proposed study will need to be approved by the full legislature.