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Nov
21

How common is out-of-network billing?

Congress is considering legislation to address "surprise bills", which occur when a person visits an in-network facility, but receives services from a provider that is outside of their insurer's network. Bills in both the House and Senate include provisions to determine a benchmark rate for out-of-network payments based on what in-network providers of the same specialty are paid for delivering sim...
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Nov
07

Air Ambulances – 10 Year Trends in Costs and Use

Air ambulances are either fixed wing (airplane) or rotary wing (helicopter) aircraft used to transport people in often time-sensitive medical situations. Air ambulances have become a frequent topic in the news due to their high cost and propensity to lead to surprise bills. Our analysis shows that although air ambulances are not frequently used and their use declined over the 2008 to 2017 period, ...
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Nov
05

Comparing Average Rates for Select Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, and Radiology Services by Local Areas

When a person unknowingly receives health care services from a provider that is outside of their insurer's network, it gives rise to the potential for a "surprise bill". Congress continues to consider legislation aimed at reducing the financial burden of "surprise bills" for patients. The approach approved by committees in both the House and Senate is to set a benchmark for the amount that can be ...
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Jul
23

Comparing Commercial and Medicare Rates for Select Anesthesia, Emergency Room, and Radiology Services by State

Committees in both the House and Senate have advanced legislation that includes measures to address "surprise bills." A surprise bill results when a person unknowingly receives medical care from a provider that is not part of their insurer's network. Both pieces of legislation set a benchmark for out-of-network payments. Those benchmarks are determined based on the median in-network amount paid by...
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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...
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Sep
11

ER facility prices grew in tandem with faster-growing charges from 2009-2016

HCCI often reports the prices of health care services, defined as the average amount a provider is paid for a given service based on negotiations with health care insurers. These prices typically represent a portion of charges, which are the amounts health care providers bill for the procedures they perform. The charge amount is often the starting point for negotiations between insurers and provid...
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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...
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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
23

Health Services Research: Physical Therapy as the First Point of Care to Treat Low Back Pain: An Instrumental Variables Approach to Estimate Impact on Opioid Prescription, Health Care Utilization, and Costs

 ABSTRACT Objective: To compare differences in opioid prescription, health care utilization, and costs among patients with low back pain (LBP) who saw a physical therapist (PT) at the first point of care, at any time during the episode or not at all. Data Sources: Commercial health insurance claims data, 2009–2013. Study Design: Retrospective analyses using two‐stage residual inclusion instru...
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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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May
04

Academic Emergency Medicine: Association Between Maternal Comorbidities and Emergency Department Use Among a National Sample of Commercially Insured Pregnant Women

ABSTRACT Objectives: Evidence suggests that, despite routine engagement with the health system, pregnant women commonly seek emergency care. The objectives of this study were to examine the association between maternal comorbidities and emergency department (ED) use among a national sample of commercially insured pregnant women. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study using multipayer m...
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Feb
28

Non-Shoppable Health Care Services: Inpatient Hospitalizations

This data brief reports on spending and utilization in populations likely unable to shop for a hospital prior to seeking care, comparing spending and length-of-stay for individuals who were admitted through the emergency department (ED) to that of individuals who needed ambulance services the day of their admission through the ED.    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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Sep
01

Selected Health Care Trends for Young Adults: 2007-2012

This issue brief is one of the first to examine health care trends for young adults (ages 19-25) with employer-sponsored insurance before and after implementation of Section 1001 of the Affordable Care Act that allows parents to include their adult children in family health plans.    Download PDF File Here
Jul
01

2007-2011 Children’s Health Care Spending Report

In the Health Care Cost and Utilization Report: 2010, HCCI found that the health expenditures for children with ESI grew faster than any other age group. This report begins to explore why health care spending for commercially insured children rose so quickly, and whether growing expenditure on children's health care represents a potential long-term trend. HCCI assessed the levels and changes in pr...
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