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Survey: Milwaukee-area hospitals improved controlling insurance-related payments

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Hospitals in southeast Wisconsin have done a much better job of controlling their costs over the last decade.

A new survey shows that insurance-related payments to Milwaukee area hospitals grew by only half the national average from 2003 through 2012.

The Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on health said insurers and employers increased their hospital payments by 37 percent over the decade. That compares to 75 percent nationally.

Foundation director Ron Dix says the credit goes to hospitals, for looking at their costs and doing something about them.

Hospital care accounts for up to 40 percent of medical spending costs for commercial health plans.

The health foundation was formed in 2002, after we learned that hospital prices in the Milwaukee area were well above other Midwest areas of similar size.

Another component, physician fees, did not look as favorable in Metro Milwaukee.

A survey last month showed that the region's doctor fees were almost 50 percent above the average for similar-sized metro markets throughout the Upper Midwest.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)