Putting the brakes on hospital growth

Indiana State Senator John Ruckelshaus is taking on a behemoth: slowing down hospital building projects.  One has gotten a lot of attention.

“St Vincent/Ascension wanted to build a brand new level one trauma hospital. One billion dollars and two heliport pads, so my constituents brought the issue to me and said, wait a minute, we’re going a little too fast. We almost have as many hospitals up and down Meridian Street, as we have car dealers along 96th Street,” said Senator Ruckelshaus.

Ruckelshaus did his research and found out what’s behind it.

“What’s happening in the hospital world is, they either have facilities that are really focusing on Medicaid and Medicare, which are very urban focused or they are collaborating right next to each other in very high roof tops because they are fully insured, higher profit patients,” says Ruckelshaus.

Which is good for profitability. But what about consumers of healthcare?

“All of us have very high health deductibles now….6,7,8, ten thousand is not uncommon at all. So people need to be very aware of the costs. They are all encroaching in each other’s space and they are literally building all these hospitals next to each other. We have studies that have shown, it’s driving up healthcare costs,” says Ruckelshaus.

The residents who live near 96th and Spring Mill, where the one billion dollar project was proposed, knew their location was attractive.

“It’s an area that’s easy to access to the interstate. It’s huge tax dollars. It’ll be a big increase to Carmel,” said one resident.

Ruckelshaus says he’s met with hospital officials.  Some see his issue with all the new building. He is a free market republican, but healthcare is different. So he’s proposing hospitals prove they won’t increase costs to patients just to build.

“What this bill would do is very simple. Before a new hospital facility is built in the state of Indiana,” says Ruckelshaus. “It must go before the department of health and they must petition the Department of Health, and become certified that the new building is not an undue burden to health consumers.”

State Senator Ruckelshaus represents District 30. His bill is Senate Bill 8.

For more on the bill click on the link below.



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