(Richmond, IN)--Reid Hospital’s board has approved a 3 ½% rate increase. But, the good news is that it’s the lowest increase in 17 years and is equal to the national average. CEO Craig Kinyon said in a prepared statement that he sees reasons for optimism entering the new year and credited the hospital’s emphasis on wellness and prevention because reimbursement to providers is tied to patient quality indicators. Reid largest single-year increase was in 2003, when rates went up nearly ten percent. Reid is also facing challenges in the coming year. According to a statement released Tuesday, Reid expects to incur expenses that will not be reimbursed in 2015 that total $435 million. Medicare write-offs for 2014 will be $280 million. In the last six years, bad debt and charity care costs have jumped from $60 million to $126 million. CEO Craig Kinyon said that charges that are not reimbursed directly result in higher costs to commercially insured patients.