MOUNT CARMEL — At the regular meeting of the Wabash General Hospital Board of Trustees, the board voted to study the hospital’s lab pricing, citing complaints of high rates.

Steve McGill, Wabash General Chief Financial Officer, brought the issue to the board’s attention at the meeting.

“We’re above the market,” said McGill, who added that primary care provider patients had complained about high bills when having lab work done.

“Obviously, there’s a major financial impact in addressing this issue,” McGill said.

He suggested having a company consult hospital officials on lab work policies once they had conducted an analysis.

The group to do the pricing assessment is Acumen.

“They’ll come in and assess our pricing structure,” McGill said, followed by proposed changes. The company will assess the lab services Wabash General provides and make recommendations on whether or not some of the services should or should not be provided in terms of financial impact. This includes an analysis of employees and equipment as well.

“They’ll give us a written report with key findings,” McGill said.

The cost for the work will be $46,000, which McGill acknowledged was not inexpensive.

“But we are talking a major issue that we really need to address,” he added. The group has been vetted by hospital staff, including references from some of their past clients and McGill said the past clients spoke highly of the company.

Wabash General Hospital operates within two different markets, officials pointed out, both inpatient and outpatient services. Lab service pricing within both of those markets would have to change, according to officials.

“It is expensive, but it could be even more expensive if we make a mistake and make an uninformed decision,” said Karissa Turner, Vice President of Wabash General.

President Jay Purvis echoed these sentiments. “This, in its essence, allows us to take a look at what we can do,” he said.

“Forty-six (thousand dollars) sounds, and it is, expensive, yet the yield that we are looking for and the change that we are looking for is many times over,” Purvis said.

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