News
Media coverage of HCCI’s original research

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Feb
19

Health Services Research: Payer Type and Low‐Value Care: Comparing Choosing Wisely Services across Commercial and Medicare Populations

ABSTRACT Objective: To compare low‐value health service use among commercially insured and Medicare populations and explore the influence of payer type on the provision of low‐value care.​ Data Sources: 2009–2011 national Medicare and commercial insurance administrative data. Design: We created claims‐based algorithms to measure seven Choosing Wisely‐identified low‐value services and examined the ...
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Jan
01

JAMA Internal Medicine: A Perspective on Out-of-Pocket Spending

To the Editor Understanding out-of-pocket spending is critical to understanding health care costs in the United States. We applaud the efforts of Adrion et al as an important contribution to understanding the out-of-pocket spending of the commercially insured population younger than 65 years. The commercially insured comprise over 50% of the nonelderly US population and, as demonstrated by Ad...
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Jan
01

NBER Working Paper: Healthcare Spending and Utilization in Public and Private Medicare

ABSTRACT: We compare healthcare spending in public and private Medicare using newly available claims data from Medicare Advantage (MA) insurers. MA insurer revenues are 30 percent higher than their healthcare spending. Healthcare spending is 25 percent lower for MA enrollees than for enrollees in traditional Medicare (TM) in the same county with the same risk score. Spending differences between MA...
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Dec
01

Medicare Advantage Health Care Utilization - Observation Stays

This data brief reports on outpatient observations stays in the Medicare Advantage population from 2010 through 2014. The results show that the rate of observations stays increased in total as well as following hospitalizations.    Download PDF File Here
Nov
01

Medicare Advantage Health Care Utilization - Hospital Readmissions

 This data brief, reports on five readmission rate measures for the Medicare Advantage (MA) population: 30-day all-cause hospital-wide readmissions and 30-day all-cause readmissions following acute myocardial infarction (AMI), heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and pneumonia. The results show that MA readmission rates have been declining over the past five years. &nb...
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Oct
01

NBER: Why Don't Commercial Health Plans Use Prospective Payment?

ABSTRACT One of the key terms in contracts between hospitals and insurers is how the parties apportion the financial risk of treating unexpectedly costly patients. "Prospective" payment contracts give hospitals a lump-sum amount, depending on the medical condition of the patient, with limited adjustment for the level of services provided. We use data from the Medicare Prospective Payment System an...
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Sep
01

JAMA Pediatrics: Effects of Autism Spectrum Disorder Insurance Mandates on the Treated Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder

ABSTRACT Importance: Most states have passed insurance mandates requiring commercial health plans to cover services for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Insurers have expressed concerns that these mandates will increase the number of children diagnosed with ASD (treated prevalence) and therefore increase costs associated with their care. To our knowledge, no published studies have add...
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Sep
01

Consumer-Driven Health Plans: A Cost and Utilization Analysis

This data brief examines the health care use and spending from 2010-2014 for people who are enrolled in consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs), and compares these trends to non-CDHP enrollees. Findings indicate that although fewer total dollars were spent on health care for CDHP enrollees, they had higher per capita out-of-pocket spending on deductibles, copays, and coinsurance.    Downloa...
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Sep
01

JAMA Internal Medicine: Out-of-Pocket Spending for Hospitalizations Among Nonelderly Adults

ABSTRACT Importance: Patients' out-of-pocket spending for major health care expenses, such as inpatient care, may result in substantial financial distress. Limited contemporary data exist on out-of-pocket spending among nonelderly adults. Objectives: To evaluate out-of-pocket spending associated with hospitalizations and to assess how this spending varied over time and by patient characteristics, ...
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Aug
01

Health Affairs: Medicare Advantage Plans Pay Hospitals Less Than Traditional Medicare Pays

ABSTRACT There is ongoing debate about how prices paid to providers by Medicare Advantage plans compare to prices paid by fee-for-service Medicare. We used data from Medicare and the Health Care Cost Institute to identify the prices paid for hospital services by fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans, and commercial insurers in 2009 and 2012. We calculated the average price per a...
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Jul
01

Necessary versus Sufficient Claims Data

This data brief compares membership characteristics and health care service prices in non-ERISA and ERISA populations. The results suggest that non-ERISA data may be sufficient for policy relevant analyses, even when ERISA data is not available.    Download PDF File Here
Jun
20

2014 Diabetes Health Care Cost and Utilization Report

The 2014 Diabetes Health Care Cost and Utilization Report examines how much is spent on health care for adults and children with diabetes, where those dollars are spent, and how that compares to people without diabetes. It is based on the health care claims of more than 40 million Americans younger than 65 covered by employer-sponsored insurance from 2012 to 2014.   Download Report Appendix K...
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Jun
03

Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare: Reimbursements for telehealth services are likely to be lower than non-telehealth services in the United States

ABSTRACT: Telehealth technologies promise to increase access to care, particularly in underserved communities. However, little is known about how private payer reimbursements vary between telehealth and non-telehealth services. We use the largest private claims database in the United States provided by the Health Care Cost Institute to identify telehealth claims and compare average reimbursem...
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May
16

Children’s Health Spending Report 2010-2014

Children's Health Spending: 2010-2014 examines spending on health care for children covered by employer-sponsored insurance from 2010 to 2014. For the first time, HCCI analyzed children's health care spending trends at the state level, reporting on Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin, as well as the District of Columbia.   Download Report Ap...
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Apr
21

National Chartbook of Health Care Prices 2015

The National Chartbook of Health Care Prices – 2015 and accompanying Health Affairs article "Prices For Common Medical Services Vary Substantially Among the Commercially Insured" illuminates differences in price for over 240 common medical services in 41 states and the District of Columbia. Download Report   Download PDF File Here Among the commercially insured, wide variation in prices have ...
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Apr
01

The Price-Quality Paradox in Health Care

This data brief compares average state-level prices against quality measures for asthma, diabetes and hypertension care and finds that higher prices for medical services are not always indicative of higher quality of care.    Download PDF File Here
Mar
01

Spending on Shoppable Services in Health Care

This issue brief examines health care spending on shoppable services in 2011. Contrary to expectations, giving consumers prices so they can shop for health care services may only have a modest effect on reducing health spending.   Key Findings: ​In 2011, about 43% of the $524.2 billion spent on health care services for commercially insured people was considered shoppable.About 15%—nearly...
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Feb
01

An Examination of Private Payer Reimbursements to Primary Care Providers for Healthcare Services Using Telehealth, United States 2009-2013

This issue brief, in partnership with the National Academy for State Health Policy,  reports on reimbursement to primary care provides for health care services using telehealth.  Key findings include:  • Half of telehealth-related state policies were implemented in the last five years.• Although many states permit reimbursements for telehealth services, only seven&nbs...
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Sep
30

Healthy Marketplace Index - 2015

Download Report The Healthy Marketplace Index is a series of metrics that measure the economic performance of health care markets across the country. The HMI was developed with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.    Download PDF File Here The Healthy Marketplace Index Report (HMI) shows the economic performance of more than 40 health care markets across the country. Dev...
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Sep
01

Taking the Pulse of Health Care Markets

 This data brief discusses patterns in the price and utilization indices reported in the 2015 Healthy Marketplace Index Report.   Download PDF File Here
Jul
08

Children's Health Spending: 2010-2013

Children's Health Spending: 2010–2013 shows that spending on healthcare for children (ages 0-18) covered by employer-sponsored insurance grew an average of 5.7% per year. The increase in spending in 2013 occurred despite a drop in the use of prescription drugs and visits to the emergency room, demonstrating that rising health care prices were an evident driver behind the spending increase in that ...
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May
07

Per Capita Health Care Spending on Diabetes: 2009-2013

This issue brief examines health care spending for adults and children with diabetes relative to those without diabetes, both in terms of total per capita health care spending and out-of-pocket costs from 2009-2013.  Key Findings:  ​ In 2013, $14,999 was spent per capita on health care for people with diabetes.Per capita health care spending for children with diabetes rose 7% from 2...
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Feb
01

Shopping for Health Care Makes “Cents” for Consumers

This data brief looks at per capita out-of-pocket spending rates nationally and statewide and examines average differences in consumer prices for a set of five common medical procedures: office visit for the evaluation of a new patient, colonoscopy, cataract removal, lower leg MRI; and ultrasound for pregnancy nationally and in nine states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey...
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Nov
20

American Journal of Managed Care: Overcoming barriers to a research-ready national commercial claims database

ABSTRACT Objectives: Billions of dollars have been spent on the goal of making healthcare data available to clinicians and researchers in the hopes of improving healthcare and lowering costs. However, the problems of data governance, distribution, and accessibility remain challenges for the healthcare system to overcome. Study Design: In this study, we discuss some of the issues around holdin...
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Oct
01

Out-of-Pocket Spending Trends 2013

This issue brief accompanies the 2013 Spending Cost & Utilization Report and examines trends in out-of-pocket expenditures per capita for the national, younger than age 65 population covered by employer-sponsored insurance for the period of 2011 through 2013.    Download PDF File Here