NOMC CEO challenges hospital's #4 rank on list of overcharging U.S. hospitals

Published: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 06:24 PM.

CRESTVIEW — North Okaloosa Medical Center administrators are scoffing at a national nurses union report claiming the local hospital charges the nation's fourth-highest billing mark-up.

Crestview's hospital is surpassed only by hospitals in Secaucus, N.J., Painsville, Ky., and Orange Park, California-based National Nurses United stated in a press release.

NOMC charges patients 1,137 percent of its treatment expenses against a state average of 555 percent and national average of 331 percent, according to the release.

The claim, NOMC Chief Executive Officer David Fuller said, is faulty in its calculations and excludes multiple factors involved in medical charges.

"Their methodology was really rudimentary," Fuller said.

For example, Fuller said, for-profit North Okaloosa writes off between $1 million and $1.5 million per month in charity patient treatment charges, which were not included in the union's study.

"Our hospital provided more than $13.5 million in uncompensated care last year," NOMC Director of Marketing Rachel Neighbors stated in a news release.

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