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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


Wisconsin hospital prices ranked fourth-highest among 49 states, according to a study released in May 2022 by RAND Corp., a California-based research organization.

Those are RAND’s latest figures.

RAND found that in Wisconsin in 2020, prices paid to hospitals by employers and private insurers, for inpatient and outpatient services, was 307% of what the government would have paid for Medicare patients.

The highest hospital prices were in South Carolina (322%), West Virginia (317%) and Florida (309%). Maryland was not part of the study.

Wisconsin hospital prices were driven by prices for professional services, such as physicians. Wisconsin ranked second at 384% of Medicare on that measure, behind Alaska (411%).

The Wisconsin Senate Health Committee held a hearing Oct. 4, 2023, on Senate Bill 328, which would require hospitals to disclose prices for certain services.

Republican lawmakers introduced the bill in June.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


RAND: Private Health Plans During 2020 Paid Hospitals 224 Percent of What Medicare Would Pay

Google Docs: RAND: Hospital prices

Wisconsin State Legislature: 2023 Senate Bill 328

Wisconsin State Legislature: Wisconsin Legislature: SB328: Bill Text

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Tom Kertscher joined as a Wisconsin Watch fact checker in January 2023 and contributes to our collaboration with the The Gigafact Project to fight misinformation online. Kertscher is a former longtime newspaper reporter, including at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who has worked as a self-employed journalist since 2019. His gigs include contributing writer for Milwaukee Magazine and sports freelancer for The Associated Press.