News
The latest news from HCCI

For general media inquiries or to propose collaborative projects, please contact us

Sep
25

HCCI Provides Comments for CMS's Proposed Outpatient Prospective Payment System Rule

On August 9, 2019, CMS released a rule for calendar year 2020 revisions to the Medicare hospital outpatient prospective payment system (CMS-1717-P).Our comments specifically refer to Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 180 on Price Transparency of Hospital Standard Charges. Feedback will be used to guide discussions on improving price transparency in health care. We are con...
Continue reading
Aug
12

Health Affairs: Surprise Billing: Choose Patients Over Profit

 HCCI's research on median in-network rates was recently featured in a Health Affairs blog post on surprise billing. From the blog: "Most importantly, Congress should establish a locally based benchmark to determine the amount an insurer would be required to pay a provider for a surprise bill. Ideally, we'd set the benchmark at some multiple (for example 125 percent) of what Medicare pays to ...
Continue reading
Aug
01

NPR: $2,733 To Treat Iron-Poor Blood? Iron Infusions For Anemia Under Scrutiny

HCCI recently provided cost information  for iron infusions for an NPR article. From the article: "An analysis of private insurance claims conducted by the Health Care Cost Institute, an independent research group funded by insurers, found that in 2017, private health plans paid $4,316 per visit, on average, if a patient received Injectafer infusions. Feraheme, the next most expensive in...
Continue reading
Jul
30

The Wall Street Journal: Health-Care Spending Soars in New York State

HCCI's  report with the New York State Health Foundation on health care spending in New York was recently featured in a Wall Street Journal article. From the article:  "Health-care spending on New Yorkers who get insurance through work is higher and rising more sharply than the national average. The main reason, according to a new report, is price growth. Rising prices of doctor visits, ...
Continue reading
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
Jun
06

Los Angeles Times: Soaring Insurance Deductibles and High Drug Prices Hit Sick Americans with a 'Double Whammy'

HCCI's research on consumer-directed health plans was recently used to support the second in a series of articles by the Los Angeles Times on high-deductible health plans. From the article:   "New research conducted in partnership with The Times for this project also shows that sick Americans use less healthcare when their plan requires them to pay more out of pocket. Analyzing data from...
Continue reading
Jun
04

USA Today: 'Really astonishing': Average cost of hospital ER visit surges 176% in a decade, report says

​HCCI research presented at this year's AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting on emergency room spending was recently featured in a story in USA today.  From the article:  "Hospital emergency rooms are more likely to charge pricier levels of care than a decade ago, generating bigger bills that consumers increasingly must pay with their own money, according to a new report. The nonprofit ...
Continue reading
May
31

HCCI will be presenting at AcademyHealth's 2019 Annual Research Meeting

The Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) is proud to present five posters at the AcademyHealth 2019 Annual Research Meeting in Washington, D.C. These posters, which cover HCCI research on a wide variety of topics, focus on health care spending and utilization trends among the commercially insured population. If you are attending the conference, please check out the schedule below to meet our staff an...
Continue reading
May
02

Los Angeles Times: Health Insurance Deductibles Soar, Leaving Americans with Unaffordable Bills

HCCI's research on consumer-directed health plans was recently used to support the first in a series of articles by the Los Angeles Times on high-deductible health plans.  From the article:  "The challenges are most severe for people with the highest deductibles, according to the poll: Nearly half of those in a plan with at least a $3,000 individual deductible or a $5,000 family deductib...
Continue reading
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...
Continue reading
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 ...
Continue reading
Apr
17

CBS Evening News: Family Hit With $3,700 Bill For Out-Of-Network Anesthesiologist

HCCI's research on out-of-network billing was recently cited by a CBS Evening News report on the topic. Family hit with $3,700 bill for out-of-network anesthesiologist - CBS News When Adam and Laura Parkinson chose their hospital and obstetrician for the birth of their son, they didn't think they would get hit with a surprise bill for the epidural https://www.cbsnews.com/news/out-of-netwo...
Continue reading
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...
Continue reading
Mar
01

HCCI Responds to Chairman Alexander's Request for Recommendations to Address Rising Health Care Costs

HCCI was recently requested to respond to a request from Senate HELP Committee Chairman, Senator Lamar Alexander, for recommendations to address America's rising health care costs. HCCI recommends establishing a comprehensive multi-payer source of health claims data which could then be used to evaluate the performance of the health care system and future policy proposals.   Download PDF File ...
Continue reading
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
12

HCCI Releases 2017 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report

Per-Person Health Care Spending Grew 4.2% in 2017, Driven Mostly by Prices Outpatient services had highest spending growth in 2017, increasing 5.1% WASHINGTON (February 12, 2019) — Average annual health care spending for individuals with employer-sponsored insurance increased to an all-time high of $5,641 in 2017, despite little change in the utilization of services overall, according to the Healt...
Continue reading
Tags:
Feb
05

HCCI Research Used in Support of Congressional Inquiries

HCCI's recent report on rising insulin prices was cited in support of congressional  inquiries into drug pricing. This included a letter from U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) to executives at Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi requesting information on insulin pricing.  Additionally, HCCI's research on emergency care was cited in a letter from U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA)&nb...
Continue reading
Jan
30

HCCI Announces End of Data Sharing Agreement with United Healthcare

HCCI will continue to analyze spending trends; Researchers will have HCCI data access until the end of 2022 The Health Care Cost Institute and United Healthcare are sunsetting their data collaboration relationship agreement, that has provided United's deidentified insurance claims data for analyses of U.S. healthcare spending, utilization, and market performance. HCCI continues to receive data fro...
Continue reading
Jan
28

HCCI Insulin Report Receives Extensive Media Coverage

 HCCI's recent report on trends in rising insulin prices received additional media coverage in the last week in outlets including NBC , CBS , CNN , The New York Times , The Hill , U.S. News & World Report , and USA Today .  From CNN: "Congress and the Trump administration continue to push for a drug pricing plan and were given more ammunition Tuesday in the form of a report docu...
Continue reading
Jan
22

Reuters: U.S. Insulin Costs Per Patient Nearly Doubled From 2012 to 2016: Study

​HCCI's latest research on rising insulin prices was recently featured in Reuters. HCCI's report detailed both use and price trends of insulin used by those with type 1 diabetes from 2012 to 2016. Per Reuters article: "A person with type 1 diabetes incurred annual insulin costs of $5,705, on average, in 2016. The average cost was roughly half that at $2,864 per patient in 2012, according to a...
Continue reading
Jan
22

Vox: Prices at Zuckerberg Hospital’s Emergency Room are Higher Than Anywhere Else in San Francisco

HCCI's claims data was recently used to support investigations by Sarah Kliff into emergency room pricing in San Francisco. From Vox:   "Data from the non-profit Health Care Cost Institute shows that the average price at other San Francisco-area emergency rooms is $2,000 — less than half the city hospital's price. "A privately insured patient does not seem to be getting a very good ...
Continue reading
Dec
27

The Wall Street Journal: The Hidden System That Explains How Your Doctor Makes Referrals

By: Anna Wilde Mathews and Melanie Evans  More primary-care doctors work directly for hospitals, and they are being pushed to keep lucrative referrals in-house.  Phoebe Putney Health System doesn't want its doctors to send business to competitors. If they do, Phoebe makes sure their bosses know about it. Doctors working for the Albany, Ga.-based hospital system's affiliated physician gro...
Continue reading
Dec
14

Vox: The Medicare-for-all paradox

Passing single-payer means disrupting health insurance for 160 million people who get coverage through their jobs  ​HCCI Data was featured in Vox showing the annual growth in per capita health care spending.  By: Dylan Scott Jessica Salfia knew the pay wasn't going to be great when she became a teacher in Martinsburg, West Virginia, but she did have really good health coverage. She felt ...
Continue reading
Tags:
Vox
Dec
11

Health Care Cost Institute Welcomes Two New Board Members

Appointees add leading-edge expertise in health economics and health care strategy entrepreneurship The Health Care Cost Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of two new board members, Amy Finkelstein and Marshall Votta, to further accelerate HCCI's vision and priorities as it enters 2019. "We are thrilled to welcome Amy and Marshall, who are true pioneers in their respective fields. Th...
Continue reading
Nov
06

Announcing RWJF’s Health Data for Action Call for Proposals and Informational Webinar

  HCCI is participating in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's signature research program, Health Data for Action, which makes highly valued health datasets available for innovative research projects. Recently, RWJF announced its Call for Proposals and a Nov. 9th webinar to hear from staff at the Foundation, AcademyHealth, and the data experts to learn more about this Call for Proposals. Hea...
Continue reading
Oct
12

HCCI Wins National Infographic Contest at 33rd Annual NAHDO Conference

 On Thursday October 11th, at the National Association of Health Data Organizations Annual Conference in Park City Utah, HCCI was announced the winner of NAHDO's nationwide yearly infographic competition. The infographic below is a sneak peak at what is to come when the full HMI report is released later this month.    Download PDF File Here
Oct
03

Wall Street Journal: Employer-Provided Health Insurance Approaches $20,000 a Year

HCCI's 2016 Annual Report was cited in the WSJ: The HCCI findings are "pretty compelling," said Paul Ginsburg, a professor at the University of Southern California. "Higher prices from providers is the most important element in rising premiums in the past few years."   Employer-Provided Health Insurance Approaches $20,000 a Year - WSJ The average cost of health coverage offered by employers r...
Continue reading
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
18

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

Behind Your Rising Health-Care Bills: Secret Hospital Deals That Squelch Competition - WSJ Hidden provisions in contracts between health-care providers and insurers allow hospitals to hide prices from consumers, add fees and discourage use of less-expensive rivals. https://www.wsj.com/articles/behind-your-rising-health-care-bills-secret-hospital-deals-that-squelch-competition-1537281963?mod=hp_lea...
Continue reading
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 f...
Continue reading
Jun
20

POLITICO: Insurers spark blowback by reducing emergency room coverage

HCCI's emergency room analysis has been highlighted by Politico! "Emergency room spending essentially doubled between 2009 and 2016, even though the number of patients treated remained flat, according to an analysis of insurer claims data recently published by the Health Care Cost Institute. The growth is being driven entirely by the most expensive claims. Costs stemming from the two most expensiv...
Continue reading
Jun
19

The Opacity of Transparency: The Search for a Cure to Our Health Care Woes

By: Niall Brennan Health care spending is exceedingly difficult to control for our nation, the states, and private payers, but also for individual patients and providers. While there has been some moderation in spending in recent years in programs like Medicare, the health share of gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to continue to rise from 17.9 percent in 2016 to 19.7 percent in 2026 (see ...
Continue reading
Tags:
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 ...
Continue reading
May
30

Becker's Hospital Review: Rising ER prices, more high severity cases spurred greater healthcare spending - 7 takeaways

By: Kelly Gooch Among the commercially insured, national emergency room use remained unchanged from 2009 to 2016, but ER price hikes and greater use of high-severity codes resulted in more ER spending, according to updated data from the Health Care Cost Institute. The data on ER spending, price and utilization reflects five facility fee current procedural terminology codes, which indicate the...
Continue reading
May
30

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

 By: Shelby Livingston Even 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...
Continue reading
May
23

Health Payer Intelligence: Pros and Cons of High Cost Sharing for Employer Health Plans

  By Thomas Beaton Employer-sponsored health plans that include high cost sharing expectations can help control spending for plan sponsors, but could create longer-term health risks for employee beneficiaries. Striking the right balance between lowering costs and enabling healthy decision-making can be a challenge for employers and payers looking to design cost-effective plans. How can plan s...
Continue reading
May
09

Becker's Hospital Review: Hospital pricing for privately insured varies by market structure - 6 study findings

By: Kelly Gooch   A newly revised study reveals insights into monopoly pricing, finding hospital market structure is strongly linked with pricing and insurer contract structure. For the study, researchers primarily examined private insurance claims data from Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealth. The data, provided by the Health Care Cost Institute, covers healthcare received by 28 percent of Americ...
Continue reading
May
01

Vox: She didn’t get treated at the ER. But she got a $5,751 bill anyway.

 By: Sarah Kliff On October 19, 2016, Jessica Pell fainted and hit her head on a nearby table, cutting her ear. She went to the emergency room at Hoboken University Medical Center, where she was given an ice pack. She received no other treatment. She never received any diagnosis. But a bill arrived in the mail for $5,751. "It's for the ice pack and the bandage," Pell said of the fee. "That is...
Continue reading
Apr
30

Business Wire: Vitals Reduced Medical Spending for Employers by $56M. Three people every hour shop and save on their health care

 Vitals today released its 2018 Book of Business report . The annual summary reports the metrics associated with shopping activity and savings achieved by employers and employees using Vitals SmartShopper. SmartShopper is a high-tech, high-touch health care program that allows consumers to shop for and choose better-value medical care. Over the past four years, SmartShopper has generated over...
Continue reading
Apr
12

Health Exec: Drug competition didn’t stop sharp increase in MS spending

By: John Gregory  Between 2009 and 2015, spending on patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) greatly increased, with disease modifying therapies (DMTs) accounting for 82 percent of that increase as prices jumped every year and use slightly declined. The report from the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) examined claims for people with MS from 2009 to 2015 covered by individual market, employer-s...
Continue reading
Mar
23

HCCI's Response to Senate Request for Feedback on Price Transparency

On February 28, 2018, HCCI, among other key stakeholders, was asked to provide feedback to several questions posed by six U.S. Senators on the issue of health care price transparency. The Senators are launching a bipartisan effort to increase health care price and information transparency to empower patients, improve the quality of health care, and lower health care costs. Feedback was due March 2...
Continue reading
Mar
19

CNN Money: $12,000 for a bee sting? Emergency room visits get even pricier

 By:  Tami Luhby Sylvia Rosas decided to go to the emergency room after getting stung by a bee in her yard in Valrico, Florida. She had experienced allergic reactions in the past, but didn't have an EpiPen on hand. However, what really hurt was the $12,000 bill she received for the visit to the ER. The 53-year-old said she was seen by several doctors, who ordered thousands of dollars in ...
Continue reading
Mar
14

Health Affairs: Disinvesting In Primary Care?

By: Christopher Koller and Margaret O'Kane The Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) released its analysis of 2016 health spending for a group of commercial insurers last month. The report is a trove of information that, like all good analyses, suggests more questions than it answers. Buried in the report—in figure 15—is an alarming trend that should rise to the top of analysts' areas for further inve...
Continue reading
Mar
07

Times Free Press: Cost of care growing for adults with hypertension

 By: Elizabeth Fite Hypertension, or high blood pressure, affects the health and wallets of more than 75 million U.S. adults, and the cost of managing this condition is growing, according to a new study from the Health Care Cost Institute. The study released Tuesday analyzed data from employer-sponsored health insurance claims of adults between the ages of 18 and 65 and found that adults...
Continue reading
Mar
05

KHN: Need A Medical Procedure? Pick The Right Provider And Get Cash Back

Laurie Cook went shopping recently for a mammogram near her home in New Hampshire. Using an online tool provided through her insurer, she plugged in her ZIP code. Up popped facilities in her network, each with an incentive amount she would be paid if she chose it. Paid? To get a test? It's part of a strategy to rein in health care spending by steering patients to the most cost-effective providers ...
Continue reading
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 ...
Continue reading
Feb
23

Health Payer Intelligence: Medicare Advantage Evaluation Requires Transparent Claims Data

  By Thomas Beaton February 23, 2018 - The growth of the Medicare Advantage (MA) market requires the release of more claims data to evaluate the commercial and government impact of the program, according to a recent JAMA commentary from the Health Care Cost Institute, ProPublica, and the VA. "Despite the important and increasing role of Medicare Advantage plans, there is fairly little insight...
Continue reading
Feb
15

RevCycle Intelligence: Hospital Cost-Shifting Increases Private Payer Payments by 1.6%

By: Jacqueline LaPointe Healthcare organizations that faced Medicare reimbursement reductions under the Affordable Care Act engaged in hospital cost-shifting that resulted in 1.6 percent higher average payments from private payers, a new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research uncovered. Researchers reported that hospitals penalized under the Hospital Readmission Reduction...
Continue reading
Jan
30

CNN Money: Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, and Jamie Dimon want to fix health care

By: Chris Isidore  Amazon is partnering with Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase, the nation's largest bank, to try to address one of the nation's thorniest and priciest problems -- soaring health care costs. The three companies unveiled an as yet unnamed company to give their U.S. workers and families a better option on health insurance. The statement said the new company will be...
Continue reading
Jan
24

The Hill: Americans using less health care, but paying more for it

 By: Jessie Hellman Health-care spending has increased because prices are rising, not because Americans are using more health care, according to a new study released Tuesday. The report from the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) showed that total health-care spending grew by 4.6 percent per person from 2015 to 2016 even as utilization of services remained steady, or declined in some cases. As...
Continue reading
Tags: