News
Media coverage of HCCI’s original research

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Feb
13

HCCI releases 2018 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report

Per-Person Health Care Spending Grew 18% from 2014 to 2018, Driven Mostly by PricesAfter remaining stable for several years, utilization increased slightly in 2018Access the report here.WASHINGTON D.C. — Average employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) spending rose to $5,892 per person in 2018, according to the Health Care Cost Institute's annual Health Care Cost and Utilization Report, which analyzes ...
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Jan
16

CMS-specified shoppable services accounted for 12% of 2017 health care spending among individuals with employer-sponsored insurance

​ ​% Total Medical Spending ​% Out-of-Pocket Medical Spending ​​% Medical Charges​% Medical  Utilization ​All Medical Care ​11.8 ​15.6 ​12.3​17.2​Inpatient Care​7.95.6​8.0​4.8​Outpatient Care​13.1​16.5​13.7​17.2 In response to high and growing health care spending, policymakers have proposed improving price transparency as a solution. Several such proposals rely on consumers taking ...
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Dec
17

International comparisons of health care prices from the 2017 iFHP survey

The International Federation of Health Plans (iFHP), a CEO network of the global health insurance industry based in London, in partnership with the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) in the United States, and iFHP member companies in eight countries, today published the latest International Comparison of Health Prices Report. The report compares the median prices paid by a sample of private he...
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Nov
07

Air Ambulances – 10 Year Trends in Costs and Use

Air ambulances are either fixed wing (airplane) or rotary wing (helicopter) aircraft used to transport people in often time-sensitive medical situations. Air ambulances have become a frequent topic in the news due to their high cost and propensity to lead to surprise bills. Our analysis shows that although air ambulances are not frequently used and their use declined over the 2008 to 2017 period, ...
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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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Apr
02

Shifting Care from Office to Outpatient Settings: Services are Increasingly Performed in Outpatient Settings with Higher Prices

Where people receive health care matters, especially in terms of costs. The same services may have a much higher price tag when performed in one setting rather than another, but this price difference is rarely publicized to patients. To understand what settings people used and how prices differed, we looked at the utilization and average price paid from 2009 to 2017 for a set of services commonly ...
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Feb
19

2017 Annual Health Care Cost and Utilization Report Webinar

HCCI recently held a webinar to discuss the 2017 Annual Health Care Cost and Utilization Report.    Download PDF File Here
Feb
11

2017 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report

The 2017 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report shows that spending per privately insured person grew by 4.2 percent, the second year in a row of spending growth over four percent. Price increases were the primary driver. The report covers the period 2013 through 2017 and includes claims data from four national insurance companies: Aetna, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, and UnitedH...
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Jan
01

Medical Care: Competition in Outpatient Procedure Markets

 AbstractBackground: More than half of all medical procedures performed in the United States occur in an outpatient setting, yet few studies have explored how competition among ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) and hospitals affects prices for commercially insured outpatient services.Objectives: We examined the association between prices for commercially insured outpatient procedure...
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Sep
19

Health Affairs: Health Care Spending Under Employer-Sponsored Insurance: A 10-Year Retrospective

ABSTRACTUsing a national sample of health care claims data from the Health Care Cost Institute, we found that total spending per capita (not including premiums) on health services for enrollees in employer-sponsored insurance plans increased by 44 percent from 2007 through 2016 (average annual growth of 4.1 percent). Spending increased across all major categories of health services, although the i...
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Sep
18

Wall Street Journal: Behind Your Rising Health-Care Bills: Secret Hospital Deals that Squelch Competition

​HCCI data was featured in The Wall Street Journal showing that insurers pay higher prices for some services performed on an outpatient basis that could also be performed in doctors offices.
Sep
11

ER facility prices grew in tandem with faster-growing charges from 2009-2016

HCCI often reports the prices of health care services, defined as the average amount a provider is paid for a given service based on negotiations with health care insurers. These prices typically represent a portion of charges, which are the amounts health care providers bill for the procedures they perform. The charge amount is often the starting point for negotiations between insurers and provid...
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Jun
20

Vox: The absurdity of American health care pricing, in one chart

​Research using HCCI data shows the different prices patients face for the same procedures performed in the same hospitals."a new paper from economists Zack Cooper, Stuart Craig, Martin Gaynor, and John Van Reenen sheds light on another fascinating type of variation: price differences within a single hospital. Their research is the first I've seen that shows insurers pay different prices for ...
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Jun
19

2016 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report

The 2016 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report shows that spending per privately insured person grew by 4.6 percent, faster than in previous years. Price increases were the primary driver. The report covers the period 2012 through 2016 and includes claims data from four national insurance companies: Aetna, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, and UnitedHealthcare.​  The data in the report can al...
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May
31

Health Leaders: ER Spending Rise Driven by high-severity cases

By: John Commins A review of emergency department claims for employer-sponsored plans from 2009 through 2016 found that the average prices for higher severity billing codes rose faster than lower severity codes.Emergency department spending per employer-sponsored plan enrollee increased 99% from 2009 to 2016, even as overall ED use for that cohort flat-lined, the Health Care Cost Institute re...
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May
30

Modern Healthcare: ER spending rises with increasing prices, severity of visits

 By: Shelby LivingstonEven though emergency department use has stayed the same, ED spending per member nearly doubled from 2009 to 2016 as the severity of ED visits and the prices associated with those visits increased, new data from the Health Care Cost Institute shows.The not-for-profit HCCI analyzed employer-sponsored insurance claims for the five procedure codes used to bill for ED v...
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May
30

ER spending among the commercially insured continued to rise in 2016, driven by the price and use of high severity cases (2009-2016)

HCCI recently expanded its reporting on emergency room (ER) spending trends to include the most recent data available (2016). We characterize trends in spending, price, and utilization for the five Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes designed to capture the level of severity and complexity of every ER visit. While average prices for all five ER CPT codes were higher in 2016 than in 2009, th...
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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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Mar
14

Under Pressure - Adults with Hypertension are Spending Increasingly More on Health Care

This issue brief compares trends in health care spending from 2012 to 2016 for adults with employer-sponsored insurance who were diagnosed with hypertension to those not diagnosed with hypertension. It also considers how changes in prescription drug spending compare to changes in prescription drug use for adults with a hypertension diagnosis.     Download PDF File Here
Mar
02

Crain's Chicago Business: This fast-growing doctors group is betting it all on hips and knees

Baby boomers are living longer, getting their aching hips and knees replaced as they age. That puts Illinois Bone & Joint Institute in the sweet spot of medicine.Hip and knee replacements are among the most common surgeries in the U.S.—and they're pricey. Everything involved in replacing one, from surgery to the weeks of rehab that follow, costs an average $36,000, according to Guroo, a site c...
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Mar
01

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

ABSTRACTObjectives: 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 fo...
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Feb
01

Top Spenders Among the Commercially Insured Increased Spending Concentration and Consistent Turnover from 2013 to 2015

 This issue brief explores the distribution of health care spending among commercially insured individuals, with a focus on the top 5 percent of spenders and turnover within that group from year to year. It considers the share of spending incurred by this group of top spenders, how those dollars are distributed among the health care service categories, turnover within the group of top spender...
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Dec
08

Advisory Board: ED visits down - but ED facility fee spending is up, Vox analysis suggests

Spending on emergency department (ED) facility fees rose steadily between 2009 and 2015, even as the overall number of ED fees billed declined, according to an analysis of Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) data, Sarah Kliff writes for Vox. However, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) is pushing back against the findings, noting that the analysis examined only spending by employer-s...
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Dec
05

Healthcare Dive: ER facility fees skyrocket faster than outpatient or overall healthcare spending

 By: Les MastersonDive Brief:Hospital emergency room (ER) facility fees increased 89% between 2009 and 2015, which is twice as fast as outpatient care and four times as fast as overall healthcare spending, reported Vox and Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) in a new report.Vox and HCCI analyzed 70 million insurance bills for ER visits. The analysis focused on facility fees and not the hospital...
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Nov
28

ProPublica: A Hospital Charged $1,877 to Pierce a 5-Year-Old's Ears. This Is Why Health Care Costs So Much.

By: Marshall AllenThis story was co-published with NPR's Shots blog.Two years ago, Margaret O'Neill brought her 5-year-old daughter to Children's Hospital Colorado because the band of tissue that connected her tongue to the floor of her mouth was too tight. The condition, literally called being "tongue-tied," made it hard for the girl to make "th" sounds.It's a common problem with a simple fix: an...
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