Authority OKs rate hikes at 15 W.Va. hospitals - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Authority OKs rate hikes at 15 W.Va. hospitals

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Many West Virginians will be paying more for health care this year under a package of rate increases the Health Care Authority has approved for 15 hospitals.  The increases affect people with private insurance and those who pay out of their own pocket.

The rate hikes range from as low as 1.24 percent at Bluefield Regional Medical Center to as high as 8.7 percent at Fairmont General Hospital.  The Charleston Gazette says only one rate was lowered: Charleston Surgical Hospital's rate is falling by less than half of 1 percent.

The authority approved the new rates this week.  Hospital administrators call the increases routine and say they allow the facilities to keep up with rising costs.

Hospitals approved for increases include:

• Raleigh General Hospital in Beckley, a 4.75 percent increase from an average of $21,038 per stay in 2012 to $22,037 in 2013

• Bluefield Regional Medical Center in Bluefield, a 1.24 percent increase from an average of $14,350 per stay in 2012 to $14,528 in 2013

• Summersville Regional Hospital in Summersville, a 6.5 percent increase from an average $8,752 per stay in 2012 to $9,321 in 2013

• Greenbrier Valley Medical Center in Ronceverte, a 6.97 percent increase, from an average of $10,302 per stay in 2012 to $11,021 in 2013

• Charleston Area Medical Center, the average cost of a stay at the hospital will increase 4.3 percent from $29,011 in 2012 to $30,258 this year.

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