News
Media coverage of HCCI’s original research

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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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Jun
29

Comparing Commercial and Medicare Professional Service Prices

People in the United States routinely cite health care and health care costs as top concerns.1, 2, 3, 4 For the more than 160 million people who get insurance from their employer, the cost of health care is high, growing, and outpacing growth in wages.5, 6, 7 Across the country, health care costs show up in the form of higher premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs (for services that are...
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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
13

Understanding Variation in Spending on Childbirth Among the Commercially Insured

Childbirth is the most frequent reason for an inpatient admission in the United States, and Cesarean-section (C-section) is the most common operating room procedure in an inpatient hospital stay. Among people who get insurance through an employer, the combination of labor, delivery, and newborn care makes up nearly one in six dollars spent on inpatient care. Childbirth accounts for an estimated fo...
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Apr
01

Compared to What? Baseline Understanding of the Distribution of Hospital Care

The pandemic of a new coronavirus, COVID-19, is increasing demand on hospitals as unprecedented numbers of people with respiratory disease seek treatment. In addition to straining hospital resources directly related to care of COVID-19, the outbreak may also displace other types of care. In this analysis, we hope to inform the understanding of the distribution of care provided in hospitals and how...
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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 Prices After remaining stable for several years, utilization increased slightly in 2018 Access 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 analyz...
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Feb
13

2018 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report

The 2018 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report presents data on health care spending, utilization, and average prices from 2014 through 2018 for individuals under the age of 65 who receive health insurance coverage through an employer. The report draws on data from more than 2.5 billion medical and prescription drug claims for approximately 40 million individuals enrolled in employer-sponsored h...
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Jan
29

What if Price Transparency Reduced Commercial Price Variation?

As previous reports have indicated, there is widespread price variation in the U.S. commercial health care system. Many studies have shown that prices are dramatically different not only across geographies, but they vary substantially even within the same market for the same service. For example, we found that prices for the same blood tests could vary 39-fold within Tampa, Florida and the cost of...
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Dec
27

The New York Times: In the U.S., an Angioplasty Costs $32,000. Elsewhere? Maybe $6,400.

HCCI's work with iFHP on international comparisons of health care prices was featured in a New York Times article.   In the U.S., an Angioplasty Costs $32,000. Elsewhere? Maybe $6,400. - The New York Times Enter some description here... https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/27/upshot/expensive-health-care-world-comparison.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share
Dec
17

Los Angeles Times: Not everyone has eye-popping deductibles: How one union kept medical bills in check

HCCI's 2017 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report was cited in a Los Angeles Times article.  From the article:  "Between 2013 and 2017, the average price nationally for an inpatient hospital admission rose more than 15%, almost three times the rate of general inflation, according to an analysis of commercial insurance data by the Health Care Cost Institute, a Washington think tank. The...
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Dec
17

Vox: A CT scan costs $1,100 in the US — and $140 in Holland

HCCI's work with iFHP on international comparisons of health care price was featured in a Vox article.   America’s health care costs problem, explained in 4 charts - Vox America’s health care prices problem, in four charts. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/12/17/21024614/us-health-care-costs-medical-prices
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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Nov
07

Boston Globe: Senate leaders to offer antidote for high drug costs

HCCI's work on insulin pricing was cited in a Boston Globe article.  From the article:  "Following similar efforts in Colorado and Minnesota, the Senate bill also targets the costs of insulin, a commonly used drug that has become increasingly unaffordable for many patients. On average, the price of all types of insulin roughly doubled between 2012 and 2016, according to the Washington-ba...
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Oct
31

NPR and Kaiser Health News: A Woman's Grief Led To A Mental Health Crisis And A $21,634 Hospital Bill

HCCI data was cited in an NPR/KHN Bill of the Month story.  From the article:  "Hospitals generally charge uninsured people much more than they charge people who have insurance. A 2017 report from the Health Care Cost Institute showed that the average negotiated price of an acute mental health admission was $9,293 for a commercially insured patient who stayed, on average, for a week. Tha...
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Sep
25

The Wall Street Journal: Cost of Employer-Provided Health Coverage Passes $20,000 a Year

HCCI's 2017 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report was cited in a Wall Street Journal article on the cost of employer-sponsored insurance.  From the article:  "A major driver of the cost of coverage has been the rising prices that insurers and employers pay for health care, said Niall Brennan, chief executive of the Health Care Cost Institute, a nonprofit. "The vast majority o...
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Sep
25

U.S. News & World Report: The C-Section Capital of America

Research from HCCI's Healthy Marketplace Index on variation in service prices was featured in a report on c-sections from U.S. News & World Report. From the article:  "Exactly why doctors continue to perform cesareans for low-risk deliveries is a layered issue that appears more closely tied to system-level breakdowns than to individual physicians. For example, researchers have t...
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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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Jul
23

Comparing Commercial and Medicare Rates for Select Anesthesia, Emergency Room, and Radiology Services by State

Committees in both the House and Senate have advanced legislation that includes measures to address "surprise bills." A surprise bill results when a person unknowingly receives medical care from a provider that is not part of their insurer's network. Both pieces of legislation set a benchmark for out-of-network payments. Those benchmarks are determined based on the median in-network amount paid by...
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Jun
29

The Economist: Will Transparent Pricing Make America's Health Care Cheaper

 HCCI's Healthy Marketplace Index research on prices for specific services was recently featured in an article in the Economist  Will transparent pricing make America’s health care cheaper? - Never a bargain https://www.economist.com/united-states/2019/06/29/will-transparent-pricing-make-americas-health-care-cheaper
Apr
30

The New York Times: They Want It to Be Secret: How a Common Blood Test Can Cost $11 or Almost $1,000

​HCCI's recent research on variation of prices of specific services was recently featured in an article in The Upshot by The New York Times. From the article: "It's one of the most common tests in medicine, and it is performed millions of times a year around the country. Should a metabolic blood panel test cost $11 or $952? Both of these are real, negotiated prices, paid by health insura...
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Apr
30

Past the Price Index: Exploring Actual Prices Paid for Specific Services by Metro Area

As policymakers, employers, and patients increasingly struggle with rising health care costs, there is a lack of clarity around the actual price of health care services and why those prices are so different. Recent efforts have focused on greater price transparency as a way to impact growing prices. A range of proposals from both Congress and the White House seek to shed more light on the confusin...
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Apr
18

New York Post: Man Shows Shocking Health Care Cost of His Attempted Suicide

HCCI's research on  ER facility prices was cited by the New York Post in a recent article. From the article: "While Jordan's case is extreme, the typical tab for an emergency room visit is still hard to fathom. The average visit costs $1,917, according to the Health Care Cost Institute, which looked at data from 2016. A different study from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public H...
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Apr
03

The New York Times: Express Scripts Offers Diabetes Patients a $25 Cap for Monthly Insulin

HCCI's research on rising insulin list prices was recently cited by The New York Times in its reporting on Express Scripts' new plan to offer a $25 cap for month insulin. From the article: "Consumers whose drug benefits are managed by Express Scripts could see their out-of-pocket costs for insulin limited to $25 a month under a plan announced on Wednesday. The move is aimed at addressing rising an...
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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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