Publications
HCCI’s external researcher publications powered by #HCCIdata

Sep
08

Health Affairs: Regulating Hospital Prices Based On Market Concentration Is Likely To Leave High-Price Hospitals Unaffected

Abstract Concern about high hospital prices for commercially insured patients has motivated several proposals to regulate these prices. Such proposals often limit regulations to highly concentrated hospital markets. Using a large sample of 2017 US commercial insurance claims, we demonstrate that under the market definition commonly used in these proposals, most high-price hospitals are in markets ...
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Aug
17

JAMA Internal Medicine: Association of Surprise-Billing Legislation with Prices Paid to In-Network and Out-of-Network Anesthesiologists in California, Florida, and New York: An Economic Analysis

Question  What is the association of state surprise-billing legislation with prices paid to anesthesiologists in hospital outpatient departments and ambulatory surgery centers? Findings  This retrospective economic analysis of more than 2.5 million claims filed for patients with private health insurance who received anesthesia services in hospital outpatient departments and ambulatory su...
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Aug
03

JAMA: Differences in Cancer Care Expenditures and Utilization for Surgery by Hospital Type Among Patients With Private Insurance

Question Are there differences in insurer spending and care utilization for patients with private insurance undergoing cancer surgery at National Cancer Institute (NCI) centers vs community hospitals? Findings In this cross-sectional study of 66 878 patients with breast, colon, or lung cancer, surgery at NCI centers, compared with community hospitals, was associated with higher insurer prices paid...
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Aug
01

Annals of Surgery: Opioid Fills in Children Undergoing Surgery From 2011 to 2014: A Retrospective Analysis of Relationships Among Age, Initial Days Supplied, and Refills

 Abstract Objective: The primary objective is to describe the relationship between the days supplied of postsurgical filled opioid prescriptions and refills. Background: The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has called for surgeons to alter opioid prescribing to counteract the opioid epidemic while simultaneously providing pain relief. However, there is insufficient evidence to inform periop...
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Jul
04

AJPM: Robust Prescription Monitoring Programs and Abrupt Discontinuation of Long-term Opioid Use

 Introduction This study assesses the associations between the recent implementation of robust features of state Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs and the abrupt discontinuation of long-term opioid therapies. Methods Data were from a national commercial insurance database and included privately insured adults aged 18–64 years and Medicare Advantage enrollees aged ≥65 years who initiated a...
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Jun
24

AJMC: Commercial and Medicare Advantage Payment for Anesthesiology Services

 ABSTRACT Objectives: Anesthesiology services are a focal point of policy making to address surprise medical billing. However, allowed amounts and charges for anesthesiology services have been understudied due to the specialty's unique conversion factor (CF) unit of payment and complex provider structures involving anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs). This st...
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Jun
15

AJMC: Association Between Hospital-Insurer Contract Structure and Hospital Performance

ABSTRACT Objectives: To describe the association between the form of hospitals' contracts—either markup from a benchmark or a discount from a list price—and performance: price, charge, cost, and length of stay. Study Design: Retrospective observational study using administrative claims data matched with hospital characteristics from the American Hospital Association Annual Survey and the Healthcar...
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Jun
14

JAMA Network: Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Mandates and Opioids Dispensed Following Emergency Department Encounters for Patients With Sickle Cell Disease or Cancer With Bone Metastasis

Abstract: Patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) or cancer with bone metastasis often present to the emergency department (ED) for treatment of severe pain, and opioid analgesics remain first-line therapies for acute pain in the ED or after discharge. Policies aimed at improving the safety of opioid prescribing, such as state legislative mandates that prescribers register with or u...
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May
28

JAMA Health Forum: Comparison of Anticancer Medication Use and Spending Under US Oncology Parity Laws With and Without Out-of-Pocket Spending Caps

Abstract:  IMPORTANCE  By 2020, nearly all states had adopted oncology parity laws in the US, ensuring that patients in fully insured private health plans pay no more for orally administered anticancer medications (OAMs) than infused therapies. Between 2013 and mid-2017, 11 states implemented parity with out-of-pocket spending caps, which may further reduce patient out-of-pocket spending...
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May
11

NYS Health Foundation: Variation in Health Care Prices: The Problem Starts at Birth

Summary The price of childbirth in New York City varies multifold, depending on where a woman delivers. This variation in price across boroughs, and across providers within boroughs, might make sense if it corresponded to higher-quality care. But higher prices do not always signify better quality. This report examines variation in what is paid for childbirth in each of the five boroughs of New Yor...
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May
05

Health Affairs: Private Equity In Dermatology: Effect On Price, Utilization, And Spending

Abstract: Private equity firms have increasingly acquired physician practices, and particularly dermatology practices. Analyzing commercial claims from the Health Care Cost Institute (2012–17), we used a difference-in-differences design within an event study framework to estimate the prevalence of private equity acquisitions and their impact on dermatologist prices, spending, utilization, and volu...
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Dec
21

American Economic Review: Screening and Selection: The Case of Mammograms

Abstract: We analyze selection into screening in the context of recommendations that breast cancer screening start at age 40. Combining medical claims with a clinical oncology model, we document that compliers with the recommendation are less likely to have cancer than younger women who select into screening or women who never screen. We show this selection is quantitatively important: shifting th...
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Sep
11

American Journal of Managed Care: Policies to Address Surprise Billing Can Affect Health Insurance Premiums

 Abstract:  Objectives: To quantify the proportion of health plan spending on services for which surprise billing is common—provided by radiologists, anesthesiologists, pathologists, emergency physicians, emergency ground ambulances, and emergency outpatient facilities—and estimate the potential impact of proposed policies to address surprise billing on health insurance premiums. Study D...
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Jul
27

PNAS: Randomized trial shows healthcare payment reform has equal-sized spillover effects on patients not targeted by reform

Abstract:  Changes in the way health insurers pay healthcare providers may not only directly affect the insurer's patients but may also affect patients covered by other insurers. We provide evidence of such spillovers in the context of a nationwide Medicare bundled payment reform that was implemented in some areas of the country but not in others, via random assignment. We estimate that ...
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Apr
29

Journal of Industrial Economics: Any Willing Provider and Negotiated Retail Pharmaceutical Prices

Abstract:  Any Willing Provider (AWP) regulations require insurers to allow health care providers network membership, eliminating an insurer's ability to commit to a limited network of providers. We study the effect of AWP on prices negotiated between insurers and providers by exploiting the introduction of a regulation targeting retail pharmacies in the state of Maine. Using insurance c...
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Jul
29

Health Care Spending in New York Growing Faster Than Rest of U.S.

Spending per person in employer-sponsored plans reaches all-time high of $6,335 Health care spending for the average New Yorker with employer-sponsored health insurance is increasing faster in New York State than the rest of the country, according to a new analysis released today by the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) and the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI). Per-person spending grew...
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Oct
01

Health Affairs: Assessing The Impact Of State Policies For Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs On High-Risk Opioid Prescriptions

 ABSTRACT: Policies and practices have proliferated to optimize prescribers' use of their states' prescription drug monitoring programs, which are statewide databases of controlled substances dispensed at retail pharmacies. Our study assessed the effectiveness of three such policies: comprehensive legislative mandates to use the program, laws that allow prescribers to delegate its use to offi...
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Jun
25

Medical Care Research and Review: Prices for Physicians’ Services in Medicare Advantage and Commercial Plans

ABSTRACT: The prices that insurers pay physicians ultimately affect beneficiaries' health insurance premiums. Using 2014 claims data from three major insurers, we analyzed the prices insurers paid in their Medicare Advantage (MA) and commercial plans for 20 physician services, in and out of network, and compared those prices with estimated amounts that Medicare's fee-for-service (FFS) program...
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Jun
11

INQUIRY The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing: How do the Hospital Prices Paid by Medicare Advantage Plans and Commercial Plans Compare with Medicare Fee-for-Service Prices?

ABSTRACT The prices that private insurers pay hospitals have received considerable attention in recent years, but most of that literature has focused on the commercially insured population. Although nearly one-third of Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan, little is known about the prices paid to hospitals by the private insurers that administer such plans. More in...
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May
23

Health Services Research: Physical Therapy as the First Point of Care to Treat Low Back Pain: An Instrumental Variables Approach to Estimate Impact on Opioid Prescription, Health Care Utilization, and Costs

 ABSTRACT Objective: To compare differences in opioid prescription, health care utilization, and costs among patients with low back pain (LBP) who saw a physical therapist (PT) at the first point of care, at any time during the episode or not at all. Data Sources: Commercial health insurance claims data, 2009–2013. Study Design: Retrospective analyses using two‐stage residual inclusion instru...
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May
01

NBER: The Price Ain't Right? Hospital Prices and Health Spending on the Privately Insured

ABSTRACT: We use insurance claims data covering 28 percent of individuals with employer-sponsored health insurance in the US to study the variation in health spending on the privately insured, examine the structure of insurer-hospital contracts, and analyze the variation in hospital prices across the nation. Health spending per privately insured beneficiary differs by a factor of three across...
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Apr
01

American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology: Nationwide trends in the utilization of and payments for hysterectomy in the United States among commercially insured women

ABSTRACT Background: Laparotomy followed by inpatient hospitalization has traditionally been the most common surgical care for hysterectomy. The financial implications of the increased use of laparoscopy and outpatient hysterectomy are unknown. Objectives: The objective of the study was to quantify the increasing use of laparoscopy and outpatient hysterectomy and to describe the financial implicat...
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Mar
01

Medical Care: The Differential Effects of Insurance Mandates on Health Care Spending for Children’s Autism Spectrum Disorder

ABSTRACT Objectives: There is substantial variation in treatment intensity among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study asks whether policies that target health care utilization for ASD affect children differentially based on this variation. Specifically, we examine the impact of state-level insurance mandates that require commercial insurers to cover certain treatments for ASD f...
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Feb
01

NBER: Hospital Pricing and Public Payments

ABSTRACT: A longstanding debate in health economics and health policy concerns how hospitals adjust prices with private insurers following reductions in public funding. A common argument is that hospitals engage in some degree of "cost-shifting," wherein hospitals increase prices with private insurers in response to a reduction in public payments; however, evidence of significant costshifting...
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Dec
01

Health Affairs: Rising Use Of Observation Care Among The Commercially Insured May Lead to Total And Out-Of-Pocket Cost Savings

ABSTRACT:  Proponents of hospital-based observation care argue that it has the potential to reduce health care spending and lengths-of-stay, compared to short-stay inpatient hospitalizations. However, critics have raised concerns about the out-of-pocket spending associated with observation care. Recent reports of high out-of-pocket spending among Medicare beneficiaries have received cons...
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