News
Media coverage of HCCI’s original research

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Nov
12

POLITICO Pulse: Health Care Cost Institute Finds More Evidence of Wild Price Swings

HCCI's Past the Healthy Marketplace Index reports were mentioned in POLITICO's Pulse Newsletter.  From the newsletter: "In reports set to be released this morning, the institute digs into the varying prices of procedures across the country, and even within the same area. For instance, one report probes the actual prices paid for common services across 100 metro areas; the same blood test in T...
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Oct
31

Modern Healthcare: Caring for oldest, sickest patients now a growth business

HCCI's research on spending for individuals with employer-sponsored health insurance was featured in an article for Modern Healthcare. From the article: "Spending per person with employer-sponsored insurance was about $5,900 in 2018, according to the Health Care Cost Institute's latest data." Caring for Medicare Advantage patients now a growth business Medicare Advantage patients are the unlikely ...
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Oct
26

GAO: Anesthesia Services: Differences between Private and Medicare Payments Likely Due to Providers’ Strong Negotiating Position

HCCI's 2018 HCCUR report was cited in a GAO study on Medicare payments for anesthesia services.  From the report: "The Health Care Cost Institute calculated that in 2017 private insurance payments ranged from 2 to 7 times Medicare payments, on average, across six common services provided by anesthesiologists in 33 states. Wide state-to-state variation within specific services was reported." U...
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Oct
19

KFF: Trends in Overall and Non-COVID-19 Hospital Admissions

HCCI's research on the utilization of preventive health care during the coronavirus pandemic was featured in an issue brief by KFF.  From the article: "An analysis of data from 18 states that was published by the Health Care Cost Institute found similar patterns for childhood vaccinations and cancer screenings." Trends in Overall and Non-COVID-19 Hospital Admissions – Issue Brief – 9560 | KFF...
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Oct
15

Modern Healthcare: 1.9 Million Years of Life Have Been Lost During the Pandemic

HCCI's research in conjunction with the Berkeley Research Group on years of life lost during the coronavirus pandemic was featured in Modern Healthcare. From the article: "About 1.9 million years of life have been lost from April to August, which is a 13% increase over the historical average, according to a Health Care Cost Institute analysis that compared obituary and life exp...
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Sep
23

Modern Healthcare: Inpatient Volumes, Surgeries Continue to Lag Amid COVID-19

HCCI's research on the impact on COVID-19 on preventative care services was featured in Modern Healthcare.  From the article: "And preventive care hasn't fully recovered.  Mammograms and Pap smears were down nearly 80% in April and nearly 25% in June, according to an analysis of claims data from the Health Care Cost Institute published earlier this month." Inpatient volumes, surgeri...
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Sep
11

The New York Times: Missed Vaccines, Skipped Colonoscopies: Preventive Care Plummets

HCCI's research on non-urgent medical care during the coronavirus pandemic was featured in The New York Times.   From the article:  "Vaccinations dropped by nearly 60 percent in April, and almost no one was getting a colonoscopy, according to new data from the nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute. The data, drawn from millions of health insurance claims, shows a consistent patt...
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Sep
01

Kaiser Health News: California Rx: State May Dive Into Generic Drug Market

HCCI's research on insulin prices was cited by Kaiser Health News.   From the article:  "Patients who need insulin have faced huge cost spikes. A 2019 report by the Health Care Cost Institute concluded that average prices for insulin doubled from 2012 to 2016." California Rx: State May Dive Into Generic Drug Market | Kaiser Health News California could become the first state to deve...
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Aug
31

STAT: Seeing the ‘Deep Pocket’ Effect When Insurers Pay for Health Care

HCCI's Guroo tool was cited in a STAT article on direct versus insurance-covered health care service prices.   From the article: "I compared prices from this health system's booklet to the average allowed amounts for the same services reported by the Health Care Cost Institute's Guroo tool for hospitals in the state of Pennsylvania. For all services for which insurers pay more than ...
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Aug
28

AHCJ: Report Shows Wide Variation in What Insurers Pay Providers Versus What Medicare Would Have Paid

HCCI's research on comparing commercial and Medicare professional service prices was featured in the newsletter of the Association of Health Care Journalists. From the article:  "In Comparing Commercial and Medicare Professional Service Prices, HCCI researchers compared what health insurers paid to physicians and other providers with what Medicare pays for those services. This repor...
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Aug
27

Health Affairs: The Hospital Industry Is In A Financial Mess: We Have A Unique Opportunity To Fix It

HCCI's research on hospital market concentration was featured on the Health Affairs blog.  From the article:  "Economists have long worried about the growth in hospital concentration. A 2019 study by the Health Care Cost Institute showed that the percentage of metro regions with hospital markets defined as highly concentrated based on Department of Justice criteria rose from 67 perc...
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Aug
13

Health Care Cost Institute: Wide Variation in Commercial Prices vs. Medicare Rates Across & Within U.S. States

Policy Proposals Based on Medicare Rates Could Have Dramatically Different Geographic Impacts WASHINGTON D.C. — The average commercial cost of medical professional services compared to the rate Medicare pays is 122% nationally, and ranges from a low of 98% in Alabama to a high of 188% in Wisconsin, according to a new report from the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI). In addition to this cross-stat...
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Aug
10

Bloomberg: Covid Stimulus Spending Should Aim to Improve Health-Care Value

HCCI's research on geographic variation in health insurance spending in the employer-sponsored health insurance population was cited in Bloomberg Opinion.  From the article: "A new study from the Health Care Cost Institute in Washington has found a similar dynamic for employer-sponsored insurance: When a beneficiary moves to an area with 10% higher health-care spending, that person's spending...
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Aug
03

Health Affairs: COVID-19, Market Consolidation, And Price Growth

HCCI's work on the growth in private health insurance spending was recently cited in an article by Health Affairs.  From the article: "The supremacy of price is also supported by the work of the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI), which found that between 2014 and 2018, US private insurer health spending per person increased by 18.4 percent, while per person use increased by only 3.1 perc...
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Aug
01

ProPublica: How a $175 COVID-19 Test Led to $2,479 in Charges

HCCI's President and CEO Niall Brennan was recently quoted in a ProPublica article on extremely high coronavirus test billing rates by out-of-network providers.  From the article: "The SignatureCare charges shocked experts who study health care costs. Charging $2,479 for a drive-thru COVID-19 test is a 'nauseating' example of profiteering during a pandemic, said Niall Bren...
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Jul
23

Carolina Journal: N.C.’s obsolete death reporting system keeps public in a fog

HCCI's research on daily deaths during the coronavirus pandemic was featured in the Carolina Journal. From the article: "Any estimates come from the private sector and from unusual data-gathering methods. One such estimate says the state's deaths were 13% higher than normal levels on April 23, according to the private nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute, which uses obituaries to track deaths acro...
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Jul
16

Harvard Medical School: Out-of-Network Care

HCCI's research on out-of-network spending was cited in the Harvard Medical School publication. From the article: "In a study published in the June issue of Health Affairs, the researchers found that while the share of total health care spending that was out of network declined slightly from 2008 to 2016, there was a rapid increase in out-of-network spending for several distinct segments of the U....
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Jul
01

Bloomberg Law: Minnesota Sued Over New Law Providing Free Insulin to the Poor

HCCI's research on insulin prices was featured in a Bloomberg Law article.  From the article: "The inventor who discovered insulin in the 1920s famously sold the patent to the University of Toronto for $1 in the hope that anyone who needed it could afford it.In the years since, the four most common types of insulin have seen their prices soar, with the average price per month rising to $...
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Jun
30

Research Collaborative Releases Major New Collection of North Carolina Health Care Spending Data

HCCI, Duke, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina release interactive data on state health care spending to inform the public and policymakers. DURHAM, NC – Researchers at The Health Care Cost Institute, Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, Duke University School of Medicine Department of Population Health Sciences, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nort...
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Jun
22

Time: The Difficulty Of Counting the COVID-19 Pandemic’s Full Death Toll

HCCI's research on daily deaths during the coronavirus pandemic was featured in a Time article. From the article:  "City health officials reported about 200 at-home deaths per day during the height of the pandemic, compared with a daily average of 35 between 2013 and 2017. Again, experts believe that excess is presumably caused either directly or indirectly by the pandemic. And nationally, a ...
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Jun
16

The New York Times: Most Coronavirus Tests Cost About $100. Why Did One Cost $2,315?

 HCCI's research with iFHP on international comparisons of health care prices was cited in an article in The New York Times on COVID-19 test prices.  From the article:  "How can a simple coronavirus test cost $100 in one lab and 2,200 percent more in another? It comes back to a fundamental fact about the American health care system: The government does not regulate health care price...
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May
27

CNN: Daily deaths in US now more than 10% higher than in previous years

HCCI's research on daily deaths during the coronavirus pandemic was featured on CNN.  From the article:  "The number of people dying each day in the United States since early April has been consistently more than 10% higher than in previous years, according to a new report from the Health Care Cost Institute in Washington. The institute connects this rise in daily deaths to the coronavir...
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May
13

An Inflection Point for HCCI: Upcoming Releases, New COVID-19 Projects & Expanded Dataset

It's been a while since my last broad-based update on HCCI's work. With so much going on in the world, I want to bring you up to speed on the many activities underway at HCCI, including our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and our transition to a new dataset that will incorporate claims from Aetna, Humana and Blue Health Intelligence. Everyone's attention is rightfully focused on COVID-19 right n...
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Apr
17

Health Affairs: Despite The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, COVID-19 Evaluation Is Not Necessarily Free

HCCI's 2018 Annual Report was cited in a Health Affairs article on coverage of COVID-19 testing.  From the article:  "Consider cost sharing for a privately insured patient under seven possible evaluation scenarios, shown in exhibit 1. First, if the patient is evaluated in person but does not receive any testing, cost sharing could be imposed for the visit. According to an analysis of nat...
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Mar
07

MarketWatch: How much does it cost to get tested for the coronavirus? Unfortunately the answer could depend on how good your insurance is

HCCI's research on emergency room billing was cited in a MarketWatch article on coronavirus testing.  From the article:  "It's also important to get checked out by a doctor first because if you skip the doctor and go straight to the emergency room, you run the risk of your insurer refusing to cover the ER visit, Donovan said. Insurers have been known to reject claims for emergency depart...
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