CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Patients who pay with private insurance or out of their own pocket can expect to pay more at Charleston Area Medical Center and several other West Virginia hospitals this year.
The West Virginia Health Care Authority has approved increased rates for nongovernmental patients at 15 hospitals and a decreased rate at one other hospital.
At 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.
CAMC had requested a 5.25 percent increase.
In Hurricane, CAMC Teays Valley also will increase nongovernmental rates for 2013. The hospital was approved for a 3.61 percent increase from an average of $17,539 per stay to $18,172. CAMC Teays Valley had requested a 3.75 percent increase over last year.
CAMC spokesman Dale Witte said the rate increases are only the benchmark increases that the hospital asked for.
"That's what we asked for and were granted," Witte said. "It basically allows hospitals to keep up with rising costs on the other end. We think it's reasonable and that's what we've [requested] for the last several years."
Nongovernmental patients at West Virginia University Hospitals will see an increase of 6 percent compared to last year. That means the average cost of a stay for nongovernmental patients will increase from $33,231 in 2012 to $35,226 for 2013.
In an email to the Gazette, Bruce McClymonds, president and CEO of WVU Hospitals, called the increase routine.
"The [Health Care Authority] has a methodology in which it compares costs and charges of similar types of hospitals in the state, and approves increases based on where we stand within our peer group," he said.
Charleston Surgical Hospital will slightly decrease its rate for nongovernmental patients from an average of $9,685 to $9,643, or 0.44 percent. The hospital had asked that the rate stay the same as last year.
The Health Care Authority also has approved rate increases for the following hospitals:
• United Hospital Center in Bridgeport, a 4.25 percent increase from an average of $17,892 per stay in 2012 to $18,652 in 2013