New Study Claims Insured Hospital Patients Pay More - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Study Claims Insured Hospital Patients Pay More

KENNEWICK, Wash. - If you don't have health insurance, read this.  A new study shows you're probably paying more than insurance companies for the same hospital services. But some local hospital representatives don't agree with the results.

The study claims uninsured hospital patients often pay twice as much as insurance companies do. But Kennewick General Hospital said that's not true.  

Hospital representatives said everyone is charged the same amount. Insurance companies do work out a discount for a better rate, but people without insurance are eligible for a similar discount if they pay within 30 days.

But even then the cost isn't cut and dry.

"It's very complex. It's just not easy, because not every patient is the same, and not every service they receive is the same and the payer mix is virtually different for every patient," said Bonnie Breg, Kennewick General Hospital.   

While KGH disputes the study. The researcher behind it is calling for reform of hospital billing practices.