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Sep
08

Health Affairs: Regulating Hospital Prices Based On Market Concentration Is Likely To Leave High-Price Hospitals Unaffected

Abstract Concern about high hospital prices for commercially insured patients has motivated several proposals to regulate these prices. Such proposals often limit regulations to highly concentrated hospital markets. Using a large sample of 2017 US commercial insurance claims, we demonstrate that under the market definition commonly used in these proposals, most high-price hospitals are in markets ...
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May
21

Washington Monthly: The Hospital Industry’s No Good, Very Bad Day

HCCI's Healthy Marketplace Index report was cited in Washington Monthly's article on congressional hearings related to hospital consolidation.  From the article: "While the legislation Klobuchar and others are championing may well slow the pace of future merger activity, it won't do much to unwind the already deep and damaging level of concentration in the health care sector. Indeed, nearly 7...
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May
14

Modern Healthcare: Meet the new dominant player in one hot healthcare market

HCCI's HMI Concentration Index was cited in Modern Healthcare's article on Atlanta's health care market.  From the article: "The Health Care Cost Institute ranked Atlanta as one of the most competitive markets in the country, coming in as the 108th least concentrated out of 124 U.S. markets." Piedmont Healthcare grabs market share in back-to-back hospital deals A string of recent hospital dea...
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Aug
27

Health Affairs: The Hospital Industry Is In A Financial Mess: We Have A Unique Opportunity To Fix It

HCCI's research on hospital market concentration was featured on the Health Affairs blog.  From the article:  "Economists have long worried about the growth in hospital concentration. A 2019 study by the Health Care Cost Institute showed that the percentage of metro regions with hospital markets defined as highly concentrated based on Department of Justice criteria rose from 67 perc...
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May
01

NBER: The Price Ain't Right? Hospital Prices and Health Spending on the Privately Insured

ABSTRACT: We use insurance claims data covering 28 percent of individuals with employer-sponsored health insurance in the US to study the variation in health spending on the privately insured, examine the structure of insurer-hospital contracts, and analyze the variation in hospital prices across the nation. Health spending per privately insured beneficiary differs by a factor of three across...
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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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Sep
01

Health Affairs: Insurer Market Power Lowers Prices In Numerous Concentrated Provider Markets

 ABSTRACT: Using prices of hospital admissions and visits to five types of physicians, we analyzed how provider and insurer market concentration—as measured by the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI)—interact and are correlated with prices. We found evidence that in the range of the Department of Justice's and Federal Trade Commission's definition of a moderately concentrated market (HHI of...
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Sep
01

NBER: Does Multispecialty Practice Enhance Physician Market Power?

ABSTRACT: In markets for health services, vertical integration – common ownership of producers of complementary services – may have both pro- and anti-competitive effects. Despite this, no empirical research has examined the consequences of multispecialty physician practice – a common and increasing form of vertical integration – for physician prices. We use data on 40 million commercially in...
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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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Aug
01

Health Affairs: Health Spending Slowdown Is Mostly Due To Economic Factors, Not Structural Change In The Health Care Sector

ABSTRACT: The source of the recent slowdown in health spending growth remains unclear. We used new and unique data on privately insured people to estimate the effect of the economic slowdown that began in December 2007 on the rate of growth in health spending. By exploiting regional variations in the severity of the slowdown, we determined that the economic slowdown explained approximately 70...
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