Bringing the Economy Home

“The Cost Of Doctor Buyouts: Charges Rise, Patient Choice Suffers, Critics Say”

Bigger bills for procedures including X-rays and simple checkups have surprised many Idaho patients whose doctors have joined hospital systems.

As hospital systems grow by absorbing the providers and centers around them, patients often spend more in out-of-pocket costs and higher insurance premiums. Patients also have fewer choices, say some competitors of the two largest systems in the state, St. Luke’s Health System and Saint Alphonsus Health System.

With about one in six Idahoans skipping visits to the doctor because of cost, the price of a visit or a test can mean everything to a person’s health.

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