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Mar
08

Daily Deaths During Coronavirus Pandemic by State

The staggering death toll of the novel coronavirus pandemic in the United States has been widely reported, surpassing 523,000 as of March 8, 2021. Over the course of the current pandemic a common method for measuring the probable number of deaths caused by COVID-19 has been comparing actual deaths in 2020 to the expected number of deaths in 2020 based on deaths in previous years. To add to the gro...
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Mar
03

USA Today: A National System to Prioritize COVID-19 Vaccines has Largely Failed as States Rely on Their Own Systems

HCCI's President and CEO Niall Brennan was quoted in a USA Today article on failures of the federal COVID-19 vaccination system. From the article: "'They literally thought their job stopped with vaccine development,' said Niall Brennan, CEO of the Health Care Cost Institute and former chief data officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 'No, your job stops when the...
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Feb
24

Using Medicare Data to Improve Vaccine Targeting: Providers Serving Highest Risk Patients

As the production and distribution of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines ramps up in the United States, there is a need to ensure that communities at highest risk for severe COVID-19 morbidity and mortality are targeted. As of February 2021, the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines, which were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in late 2020, remai...
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Feb
18

COVID-19 Disparities Persist in Community Health Centers' Vulnerable Populations

Community Health Centers (CHCs) serve over 29 million vulnerable patients, making the lack of data on COVID-19-related racial disparities in patients served in CHCs a critical knowledge gap in assessments of the pandemic's national impact. In rural and poor urban areas, CHCs may be the only accessible healthcare option. Even when other options exist, CHCs reduce barriers such as cost, lack of insu...
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Feb
12

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Use of Preventive Health Care

Updated 2/12/2021 to include data through 12/01/2020. Since the original post on 9/9/2020, the data have been adjusted to account for claims lag. For more information, see Methods Note below. COVID-19 has had an extraordinary impact on the US health care system since its emergence in early 2020. One of the largest and most immediate impacts has been the death toll, with the pandemic...
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Nov
28

Modern Healthcare: Targeting High-Risk Cancer Patients with Genetics

HCCI's research on utilization of preventive care services during the coronavirus pandemic was featured in Modern Healthcare.  From the article: "A Health Care Cost Institute analysis of data from various payers found mammograms were down 24% and colonoscopies were down 33% as of August." Targeting high-risk cancer patients with genetics As cancer screening rates have dwindled amid the COVID-...
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Nov
10

The New York Times: These Towns Trusted a Doctor to Set Up Covid Testing. Sample Patient Fee: $1,944.

HCCI's research on prices for COVID tests and other panel testing was featured in The New York Times.  From the article: "Insurers typically reimburse the panel test at a higher rate, often paying six times what they would for a regular coronavirus test, according to data provided by the nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute." These Towns Trusted a Doctor to Set Up Cov...
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Oct
19

KFF: Trends in Overall and Non-COVID-19 Hospital Admissions

HCCI's research on the utilization of preventive health care during the coronavirus pandemic was featured in an issue brief by KFF.  From the article: "An analysis of data from 18 states that was published by the Health Care Cost Institute found similar patterns for childhood vaccinations and cancer screenings." Trends in Overall and Non-COVID-19 Hospital Admissions – Issue Brief – 9560 | KFF...
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Oct
15

Modern Healthcare: 1.9 Million Years of Life Have Been Lost During the Pandemic

HCCI's research in conjunction with the Berkeley Research Group on years of life lost during the coronavirus pandemic was featured in Modern Healthcare. From the article: "About 1.9 million years of life have been lost from April to August, which is a 13% increase over the historical average, according to a Health Care Cost Institute analysis that compared obituary and life exp...
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Oct
14

Electronic Medical Record Data Suggest Disparities in COVID Incidence Persist Across Regions and Over Time

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a growing body of research has found alarming disparities in rates of the virus among Black and Hispanic communities. For example, the CDC reports that "American Indian or Alaska Native, Non-Hispanic" people and "Hispanic or Latino" people each have 2.8 times as many COVID cases than white people, Black patients have 2.6 time as many, and Asian people have...
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Oct
14

The Impact of COVID-19 on Years of Life Lost

Summary: Since April, 1.9 million excess years of life have been lost, 13% above historical average. Over the course of the pandemic, we found age and sex contributions to excess YLL have shifted. Deaths among adults 65 and older accounted for 80% of excess YLL in April but only 36% of excess YLL in June. Since April, working age adults 20-64 have accounted for 47% of excess YLL, and males 20...
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Sep
23

Modern Healthcare: Inpatient Volumes, Surgeries Continue to Lag Amid COVID-19

HCCI's research on the impact on COVID-19 on preventative care services was featured in Modern Healthcare.  From the article: "And preventive care hasn't fully recovered.  Mammograms and Pap smears were down nearly 80% in April and nearly 25% in June, according to an analysis of claims data from the Health Care Cost Institute published earlier this month." Inpatient volumes, surgeri...
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Sep
11

The New York Times: Missed Vaccines, Skipped Colonoscopies: Preventive Care Plummets

HCCI's research on non-urgent medical care during the coronavirus pandemic was featured in The New York Times.   From the article:  "Vaccinations dropped by nearly 60 percent in April, and almost no one was getting a colonoscopy, according to new data from the nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute. The data, drawn from millions of health insurance claims, shows a consistent patt...
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Aug
10

Bloomberg: Covid Stimulus Spending Should Aim to Improve Health-Care Value

HCCI's research on geographic variation in health insurance spending in the employer-sponsored health insurance population was cited in Bloomberg Opinion.  From the article: "A new study from the Health Care Cost Institute in Washington has found a similar dynamic for employer-sponsored insurance: When a beneficiary moves to an area with 10% higher health-care spending, that person's spending...
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Aug
03

Health Affairs: COVID-19, Market Consolidation, And Price Growth

HCCI's work on the growth in private health insurance spending was recently cited in an article by Health Affairs.  From the article: "The supremacy of price is also supported by the work of the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI), which found that between 2014 and 2018, US private insurer health spending per person increased by 18.4 percent, while per person use increased by only 3.1 perc...
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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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Jul
27

Analysis of Electronic Medical Record Data Shows Significantly Higher Rates of COVID-19 Infection among Hispanic and Black Patients

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a previously unimaginable impact both in the United States and globally. It is increasingly clear as we enter the fifth month of the pandemic, with rising caseloads and deaths, that the United States will need to continue to address the COVID-19 pandemic for the foreseeable future. Each day, we learn more – about the virus clinically, about the people and...
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Jul
23

Carolina Journal: N.C.’s obsolete death reporting system keeps public in a fog

HCCI's research on daily deaths during the coronavirus pandemic was featured in the Carolina Journal. From the article: "Any estimates come from the private sector and from unusual data-gathering methods. One such estimate says the state's deaths were 13% higher than normal levels on April 23, according to the private nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute, which uses obituaries to track deaths acro...
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