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Nov
12

Health Affairs: Stop Blaming The Victim: The Case For Systemic Health System Transparency

In HCCI's publication in Health Affairs Blog, we examine the case for systemic health system transparency and directing changes towards key stakeholders.  From the article:"Health care costs strain the budgets of families, businesses, and governments, leaving less room for other spending and forcing painful tradeoffs. In 2017, the United States spent $3.5 trillion on health care - &...
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Nov
11

HCCI and Blue Health Intelligence® Announce Major New Data Sharing Partnership

Addition of Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies' data will expand nation's leading resource for understanding health care cost trends.  CHICAGO (November 12, 2019) – The Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) and Blue Health Intelligence® (BHI®) announced today a multi-year data partnership, significantly expanding HCCI's data resources and bolstering its ability to provide research insights to a...
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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...
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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 ...
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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 2022The 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 from...
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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...
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Jun
19

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

By: Niall BrennanHealth 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 F...
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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...
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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 f...
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Feb
23

Health Payer Intelligence: Medicare Advantage Evaluation Requires Transparent Claims Data

 By Thomas BeatonFebruary 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 in...
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Dec
04

ER spending increased 85%, driven by price increases for the most severe cases (2009-2015)

Medical bills from the Emergency Room (ER) are a mystery to many patients in the US health system. From incredibly high, varying charges to surprise bills resulting from in/out of network confusion, many Americans have no idea what to expect when it comes to the cost of this necessary service. Recently, Vox reporter, Sarah Kliff, has begun collecting ER bills in an attempt to "bring transparency t...
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Nov
29

Welcome to the HCCI blog – HealthyBytes!

We've launched a blog to expand the way in which we share findings and insights based on our data with the wider world. While we remain committed to our signature publications such as our annual Health Care Cost and Utilization Report  and our Issue and Data Briefs, sometimes a finding is just too interesting to wait for a more formal publication. We would love feedback from readers on the nu...
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Sep
02

Modern Healthcare: Q&A with Brennan - "You are going to have more of an interest in what services actually cost"

Three months ago, Niall Brennan was appointed president and executive director of the Health Care Cost Institute, a not-for-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., that focuses on improving price transparency through the use of insurance data. He succeeds David Newman, a health policy expert who had led the organization since its founding in 2011. Brennan was the CMS first chief data office...
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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 somet...
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Jan
09

Slate: A Failed Cure for Health Care Costs

By: Helaine Olen It's a new year, and you know what that means: Your health insurance deductible just reset. Which for many of us means looking forward to paying a significant amount out of pocket for health care until we've spent enough for our insurance payments to kick in. According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2016, the average deductible for an American with employer-base...
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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
May
05

Healthzette: The Health Savings We’re Missing - Cost transparency tools exist ... yet we're not using them

 By: Kristen Fischer We have the tools to shop around and save on health care costs — but we aren't using them. A new Harvard Medical School study reveals that consumer access to price transparency tools doesn't make them any more popular or likely to decrease health care spending.Do we not want to save money, especially in a health care climate in which out-of-pocket costs are soaring? ...
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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 and pa...
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Mar
18

Forbes: Don't Be Fooled - Patients Can Shop For Healthcare

By: Yevgeniy FeymanPrice and quality transparency in health care has often been seen as the missing link for extracting more value out of our health care system. With the appropriate financial incentives, along with easily accessible cost estimators and information on physician and hospital quality, patients could flock to the lowest-cost, highest-quality providers.But a new study by the Health Ca...
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Mar
03

The Washington Post: Why Savvy Shoppers Can't Fix Health-Care Spending

In an article from Carolyn Johnson of The Washington Post, it is postulated that there are many different reasons Americans cannot fix the often high prices of health care. "One popular view of how to corral out-of-control health-care spending is to empower smart shoppers -- to arm individual patients with the information and incentives to shop around for the cheapest imaging s...
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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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Nov
20

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

ABSTRACTObjectives: 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 holding,...
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