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The latest news from HCCI

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Oct
24

Understanding how price growth affected areas differently across the country

Recently, the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) published its Healthy Marketplace Index (HMI) – Price Index report, examining relative health care prices in 112 different metropolitan areas. This report is the first in a new series of releases from the HMI project , funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which compares commercial health care markets across the country. We found widespread v...
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Oct
01

Health Affairs: Assessing The Impact Of State Policies For Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs On High-Risk Opioid Prescriptions

 ABSTRACT: Policies and practices have proliferated to optimize prescribers' use of their states' prescription drug monitoring programs, which are statewide databases of controlled substances dispensed at retail pharmacies. Our study assessed the effectiveness of three such policies: comprehensive legislative mandates to use the program, laws that allow prescribers to delegate its use to offi...
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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 a...
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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
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...
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Feb
14

A Valentine’s Day-Themed Health Care Spending Map

Valentine's Day is the second-most popular day to pop the question, and millions of couples are expected to get engaged today. According to The Knot's 2017 Jewelry and Engagement Study , the average national cost for an engagement ring in the U.S. is $6,351, just under $1,000 more than average national health care spending per person ( $5,407 in 2016 ). And just like average health care costs, the...
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Dec
20

Workers in low income counties more likely to be long-term opioid users

Past literature has found links between higher opioid use and local economic conditions for people enrolled in public health programs, but there has been little discussion of whether this relationship occurs among the privately insured. Using HCCI claims data and county level income data from the US Census Bureau, we examined how a county's median household income relates to long-term opioid use a...
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Dec
07

Health Affairs: Understanding Health Spending - Lessons From The Healthy Marketplace Index

HEALTH AFFAIRS BLOG: "As policymakers consider actions to address challenges with the Affordable Care Act and ongoing growth in health spending, the importance of understanding local health care market dynamics is more important than ever. Traditionally, policy makers and other stakeholders have evaluated commercial health care markets' total spending and often attributed high spending to high pri...
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Nov
29

Price of insulin prescription doubled between 2012 and 2016

In honor of National Diabetes Month, our inaugural blog post focuses on a topic of particular interest to people with diabetes: the price of insulin. Insulin is the hormone responsible for the body's ability to use sugar and prevent dangerously high and potentially deadly levels of blood sugar. Diabetics are unable to make enough insulin to support their bodies' needs, and thus many are dependent ...
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Aug
01

Trends in Total and Out-of-Pocket Spending in Metro Areas: 2012-2015

This data brief examines geographic variation in health care per capita spending, with a focus on consumer per capita out-of-pocket spending across geographies (2012-2015). It also explores whether the proportion of people enrolled in consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs) and the proportion not utilizing health care services had any influence on out-of-pocket spending. ​   Download PDF File ...
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May
17

Becker's Hospital Review: 20 key takeaways on medical service prices - inpatient, outpatient, and physician services

By: Laura Dyrda The Health Care Cost Institute issued the " Healthy Marketplace Index: Medical Service Category Price Index " report for 2017 in April. The report calculates metrics comparing aspects of price, competition and productivity of healthcare markets over time, which shows trends for potential future research. The report includes data for inpatient, outpatient and physician medical servi...
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Apr
27

Modern Healthcare: Healthcare costs vary widely by region

By: Maria Castellucci  The best solutions to decrease the high costs of healthcare services may not be solved at the federal level but in states and their communities, a new study suggests. The report, published by researchers this week at the Health Care Cost Institute, found costs of services vary dramatically depending on a patient's zip code. For example, patients in El Paso, Texas, paid ...
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Apr
27

NBC News: U.S. Health Care Prices Are All Over the Map, New Study Finds

By: Maggie Fox  Why does a knee replacement cost $29,000 in Kansas but $40,000 in next-door Colorado? Health care prices are all over the map in the U.S., a new study finds. It digs deeply into the crazy pattern of health costs across the U.S. and shows there is very little consistency.   The report from the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) finds prices for the same procedures vary by s...
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Apr
04

Congressional Budget Office Working Paper Series: An Analysis of Private-Sector Prices for Hospital Admissions

ABSTRACT: Prices for hospital admissions have received considerable attention in recent years, both because they are an important component of health care spending and because they can vary widely. In this paper, we use 2013 claims data from three large insurers to examine the hospital payment rates of those insurers in their commercial plans and their Medicare Advantage plans and compare them wit...
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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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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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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
28

Becker's Hospital Review: No 2 prices the same - 13 different findings on healthcare price variation across the U.S.

By: Kelly Gooch  Commercially insured Americans in some states pay more than twice what their counterparts in other states pay for healthcare, according to a study from the Health Care Cost Institute. The study, published in Health Affairs , is accompanied by HCCI's National Chartbook of Health Care Prices—2015 , which highlights differences in prices for more than 240 common medical services...
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Apr
27

USA Today: Huge health care price differences even within same area, by state

 By: Jayne O'Donnell Huge variations exist in the prices of some of the most common medical procedures across state lines, by according to a report major insurers released Wednesday, but some experts say the data is of little use to consumers who rarely know what they owe until the bills arrive. The insurer-funded Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) won't disclose which hospitals or doctors are...
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Apr
27

Modern Healthcare: The striking variation of commercial healthcare prices

By: Bob Herman Price and utilization are the two essential elements of the nation's health spending tab, and seemingly wild differences in prices for common medical procedures appear to be driving that bill up a lot. One of the most comprehensive, independent studies of commercial healthcare prices shows that employers and insurers that provide private health coverage can pay a lot more for servic...
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Apr
27

Vox: How much does the chicken pox vaccine cost? Depends on where you live

By: Sarah Kliff  How much you pay for health care often depends on one key fact: where you live. A new study of more than 1 billion medical bills makes this fact abundantly clear. It shows huge variation in the price of basic medical procedures like ultrasounds, annual physicals, or cataract removals. Consider this: An ultrasound for pregnancy costs an average of $183 in Canton, Ohio. But dri...
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Apr
27

NPR: That Surgery Might Cost You A Lot Less In Another Town

By: Alison Kodjak  Need knee replacement surgery? It may be worthwhile to head for Tucson. That's because the average price for a knee replacement in the Arizona city is $21,976, about $38,000 less than it would in Sacramento, Calif. That's according to a report issued Wednesday by the Health Care Cost Institute . The report, called the National Chartbook on Health Care Prices , uses claims a...
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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
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
Feb
01

Shopping for Health Care Makes “Cents” for Consumers

This data brief looks at p er capita out-of-pocket spending rates nationally and statewide and examines a verage 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 Jers...
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Aug
25

2007-2011 Vermont Health Care Cost and Utilization Report

The 2007-2011 Vermont Health Care Cost and Utilization Report  compares national and Vermont health care trends for the privately insured.  The report finds that Vermonters with employer sponsored health insurance spent less on health care, but their spending grew faster than the national average.  The report was prepared in cooperation with the Green Mountain Care Board. Download R...
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Dec
01

The Prevalence of Diagnosed Diabetes, Pre-Diabetes, and Gestational Diabetes among the ESI Population, 2008-2012

  Download PDF File Here
Sep
13

2012 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report

The 2012 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report shows that the growth rate of health care spending among privately insured people under age 65 remained low in 2012, growing 4.0 percent, slightly lower than in 2011 (4.1%).   Download Report Appendix Tables Key Findings ​ Spending grew fastest for young adults, women, and people living in the Northeast. Out-of-pocket spending rose more quickly...
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