In the Jan. 15 edition of the Post-Dispatch, Steven H. Lipstein presents a commentary on “Why medical charges appear to be so high and still growing.” He compares two health care providers who offer the exact same imaging services — XYZ Hospital and ABC Imaging Center. Mr. Lipstein is the president and CEO of St. Louis-based BJC HealthCare; I am the CEO of St. Louis-based Metro Imaging. Is it possible that XYZ Hospital is analogous to Mr. Lipstein’s BJC and ABC Imaging Center is analogous to my organization?
Mr. Lipstein states that ABC Imaging Center is located in a community where most of the patients have private health insurance, while XYZ Hospital is located in a different, more diverse community. Surely this is not analogous to Metro Imaging and BJC. Metro Imaging’s West County office serves the same population as BJC’s Missouri Baptist Medical Center and Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital. Metro Imaging’s North County office serves the same population as BJC’s Christian Hospital. Metro Imaging’s St. Peters office serves the same population as BJC’s Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital. Metro Imaging’s Richmond Heights office and BJC’s Barnes-Jewish Hospital both serve diverse midtown populations.