HANCOCK COUNTY, Ind. – Finding health care in a rural community can be a challenge, but health providers in Hancock County are trying to fix that.
The new Gateway Hancock Health facility is located 15 minutes or less from every major community in the area. Providers say they want to keep you and your wallet healthy.
“Cost, cost is huge these days,” said Stephenie Hoskins, the lead technologist of diagnostic imaging. “Everyone is trying to find the cheapest access to health care.”
Hoskins and her team call their new facility the future of health care. Before coming to Gateway, Hoskins worked at Hancock Regional Hospital for 17 years. She says making the switch wasn’t easy.
“We’ve actually had a few people just come in the front door and say, 'I hear you offer low cost health care,'” said Hoskins.
The new health center has only been open one month. It's already serving many patients.
“People are choosing. 'Do I pay for my school books, do I pay for groceries or do I pay for health care?'” said Jenn Cox, director of operations and business services.
On average, prices are 70% lower than the cost for the same service at an area hospital.
According to Gateway, an MRI that might cost as much as $1,600 is just $599 at Gateway. A thyroid screening could set you back more than $400. At Gateway, the same screening is just $50. Gateway provided a list of comparisons on their website.
“It’s really based on volume,” Cox explained. “Hospital based prices are fairly expensive because they work 24/7, they have overhead, they have staff, so even if the beds aren’t full, they’re paying for a full staff and every machine in that facility to run at full capacity. So here, we don’t have all of that overhead, so the more volume that we can do in a shorter amount of time allows us to keep those costs lower for the patient.”
Gateway focuses on the future of what it called "healthful living" by offering resources to patients. According to its website:
- Save Your Spot appointment scheduling and online check-in and registration to get you the care you need quickly and easily.
- A digital patient-experience platform that provides a seamless experience throughout your visit.
- Just one bill for all the services you receive, simplifying the payment process.
“We have imaging, CT, MRI, ultrasounds, x-rays, some of those really high price point items,” said Cox.
It's a new place for health care in a rural community in need of more services.
“When we need a second hospital in Hancock County and serving eastern Marion and Hamilton, that second hospital has been plotted to be here,” said Cox.
The plan is to add additional services to the health center in the coming years. Click here to learn more.