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Idaho High on List for Rising Hospital Prices

flickr.com, slightlyeverything

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A new report says Idaho ranks sixth among states for rising hospital prices. The America’s Health Insurance Plans’ report says Idaho’s annual inpatient price inflation averages 7.9 percent a year. The trade association says health-care consolidation is a significant contributor in the rising cost of hospital care.

The group says when hospitals consolidate, they have greater negotiating strength and competition is limited. The Federal Trade Commission and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden are suing St. Luke’s Health System and the Nampa-based Saltzer Medical Group that St. Luke’s bought last year.

Their lawsuit alleges the buyout violates laws that protect market competition. St. Luke’s spokesman Ken Day tells the Idaho Statesman Idahoans still have some of the lowest prices in the country.

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