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JACKSON (WNE) — In an attempt to reverse a new trend of expenses outpacing revenue, St. John’s Medical Center will raise its prices 8 percent in fiscal year 2020, which started Monday.

At its monthly meeting June 27, the hospital’s board of trustees voted unanimously for the average increase in its charge master, the document that sets its list prices for services. The bump is more than double St. John’s five-year average price increase, which was 3.6 percent heading into fiscal year 2019.

Trustees cited the need to boost revenue and bring prices more in line with competitors. Scott Gibson, who heads the finance committee, said insurance companies, not patients, will bear the brunt of the increase, though, like much of hospital finance, the picture may not be so clear.

“Most patients aren’t paying charge master prices,” St. John’s Communications Director Karen Connelly said. “Most of our patients won’t see an 8 percent out-of-pocket increase in the price of their care.”

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The increase in average prices also doesn’t mean every service at St. John’s will go up by 8 percent. Some may go up more, some less. Because of the intricacies of how hospitals are paid, it is difficult to tell exactly how individual patients’ bills may change.

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