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Aug
31

STAT: Seeing the ‘Deep Pocket’ Effect When Insurers Pay for Health Care

HCCI's Guroo tool was cited in a STAT article on direct versus insurance-covered health care service prices.   From the article: "I compared prices from this health system's booklet to the average allowed amounts for the same services reported by the Health Care Cost Institute's Guroo tool for hospitals in the state of Pennsylvania. For all services for which insurers pay more than ...
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Aug
28

AHCJ: Report Shows Wide Variation in What Insurers Pay Providers Versus What Medicare Would Have Paid

HCCI's research on comparing commercial and Medicare professional service prices was featured in the newsletter of the Association of Health Care Journalists. From the article:  "In Comparing Commercial and Medicare Professional Service Prices, HCCI researchers compared what health insurers paid to physicians and other providers with what Medicare pays for those services. This repor...
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Aug
13

Comparing Commercial and Medicare Professional Service Prices

People in the United States routinely cite health care and health care costs as top concerns.1,2,3,4 For the more than 160 million people who get insurance from their employer, the cost of health care is high, growing, and outpacing growth in wages.5,6,7 Across the country, health care costs show up in the form of higher premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs (for services that are both...
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Aug
13

Commercial Prices Relative to Medicare Vary Within Metro Areas Across Specialties and by Type of Service

Earlier HCCI research found that at the national level, commercial payers paid prices that were, on average, 122% of Medicare. However, we found that commercial professional service prices varied dramatically across states from 98% of Medicare in Alabama to 188% of Medicare in Wisconsin. There was similar variation within states, such as California, and also substantial variation within Metro Area...
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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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Jun
16

The New York Times: Most Coronavirus Tests Cost About $100. Why Did One Cost $2,315?

 HCCI's research with iFHP on international comparisons of health care prices was cited in an article in The New York Times on COVID-19 test prices.  From the article:  "How can a simple coronavirus test cost $100 in one lab and 2,200 percent more in another? It comes back to a fundamental fact about the American health care system: The government does not regulate health care price...
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May
13

Understanding Variation in Spending on Childbirth Among the Commercially Insured

Childbirth is the most frequent reason for an inpatient admission in the United States, and Cesarean-section (C-section) is the most common operating room procedure in an inpatient hospital stay. Among people who get insurance through an employer, the combination of labor, delivery, and newborn care makes up nearly one in six dollars spent on inpatient care. Childbirth accounts for an estimated fo...
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Apr
01

Compared to What? Baseline Understanding of the Distribution of Hospital Care

The pandemic of a new coronavirus, COVID-19, is increasing demand on hospitals as unprecedented numbers of people with respiratory disease seek treatment. In addition to straining hospital resources directly related to care of COVID-19, the outbreak may also displace other types of care. In this analysis, we hope to inform the understanding of the distribution of care provided in hospitals and how...
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Feb
13

HCCI releases 2018 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report

Per-Person Health Care Spending Grew 18% from 2014 to 2018, Driven Mostly by Prices After remaining stable for several years, utilization increased slightly in 2018 Access the report here. WASHINGTON D.C. — Average employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) spending rose to $5,892 per person in 2018, according to the Health Care Cost Institute's annual Health Care Cost and Utilization Report, which analyz...
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Feb
13

2018 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report

The 2018 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report presents data on health care spending, utilization, and average prices from 2014 through 2018 for individuals under the age of 65 who receive health insurance coverage through an employer. The report draws on data from more than 2.5 billion medical and prescription drug claims for approximately 40 million individuals enrolled in employer-sponsored h...
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Jan
30

The Washington Post: The Health 202: Health-care costs might decline if hospitals are forced by the Trump administration to disclose their prices

HCCI research on the potential effects of price transparency on price variation was cited in a recent Washington Post article. "There is more wiggle room on the high side — it could make up for price increases on the lower side," said Kevin Kennedy, one of the study researchers. The Health 202: Health-care costs might decline if hospitals are forced by the Trump administration to disclose the...
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Jan
29

What if Price Transparency Reduced Commercial Price Variation?

As previous reports have indicated, there is widespread price variation in the U.S. commercial health care system. Many studies have shown that prices are dramatically different not only across geographies, but they vary substantially even within the same market for the same service. For example, we found that prices for the same blood tests could vary 39-fold within Tampa, Florida and the cost of...
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Dec
27

The New York Times: In the U.S., an Angioplasty Costs $32,000. Elsewhere? Maybe $6,400.

HCCI's work with iFHP on international comparisons of health care prices was featured in a New York Times article.   In the U.S., an Angioplasty Costs $32,000. Elsewhere? Maybe $6,400. - The New York Times Enter some description here... https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/27/upshot/expensive-health-care-world-comparison.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share
Dec
17

Los Angeles Times: Not everyone has eye-popping deductibles: How one union kept medical bills in check

HCCI's 2017 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report was cited in a Los Angeles Times article.  From the article:  "Between 2013 and 2017, the average price nationally for an inpatient hospital admission rose more than 15%, almost three times the rate of general inflation, according to an analysis of commercial insurance data by the Health Care Cost Institute, a Washington think tank. The...
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Dec
17

Vox: A CT scan costs $1,100 in the US — and $140 in Holland

HCCI's work with iFHP on international comparisons of health care price was featured in a Vox article.   America’s health care costs problem, explained in 4 charts - Vox America’s health care prices problem, in four charts. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/12/17/21024614/us-health-care-costs-medical-prices
Dec
17

International comparisons of health care prices from the 2017 iFHP survey

The International Federation of Health Plans (iFHP), a CEO network of the global health insurance industry based in London, in partnership with the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) in the United States, and iFHP member companies in eight countries, today published the latest International Comparison of Health Prices Report. The report compares the median prices paid by a sample of private he...
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Nov
25

Health Services Research: Comparing Different Methods of Indexing Commercial Health Care Prices

​The methodology for HCCI's Healthy Marketplace Index was published in a Methods Brief for Health Services Research. Abstract Objective: To compare different methods of indexing health care service prices for the commercially insured population across geographic markets.Data Sources: Health Care Cost Institute commercial claims data from 2012 to 2016.Study Design: We compare price i...
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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
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
07

Boston Globe: Senate leaders to offer antidote for high drug costs

HCCI's work on insulin pricing was cited in a Boston Globe article.  From the article:  "Following similar efforts in Colorado and Minnesota, the Senate bill also targets the costs of insulin, a commonly used drug that has become increasingly unaffordable for many patients. On average, the price of all types of insulin roughly doubled between 2012 and 2016, according to the Washington-ba...
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Oct
31

NPR and Kaiser Health News: A Woman's Grief Led To A Mental Health Crisis And A $21,634 Hospital Bill

HCCI data was cited in an NPR/KHN Bill of the Month story.  From the article:  "Hospitals generally charge uninsured people much more than they charge people who have insurance. A 2017 report from the Health Care Cost Institute showed that the average negotiated price of an acute mental health admission was $9,293 for a commercially insured patient who stayed, on average, for a week. Tha...
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Sep
25

The Wall Street Journal: Cost of Employer-Provided Health Coverage Passes $20,000 a Year

HCCI's 2017 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report was cited in a Wall Street Journal article on the cost of employer-sponsored insurance.  From the article:  "A major driver of the cost of coverage has been the rising prices that insurers and employers pay for health care, said Niall Brennan, chief executive of the Health Care Cost Institute, a nonprofit. "The vast majority o...
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Sep
25

U.S. News & World Report: The C-Section Capital of America

Research from HCCI's Healthy Marketplace Index on variation in service prices was featured in a report on c-sections from U.S. News & World Report. From the article:  "Exactly why doctors continue to perform cesareans for low-risk deliveries is a layered issue that appears more closely tied to system-level breakdowns than to individual physicians. For example, researchers have t...
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Sep
20

NPR: A New Way Of Paying For Maternity Care Aims To Reduce C-Sections

HCCI data on the cost of childbirth was mentioned in a report by NPR. From the article: "C-sections also cost more than vaginal deliveries. In the Denver area, for instance, the average vaginal delivery costs $7,716 while the average C-section costs $14,274, according to 2019 data from the Health Care Cost Institute. On average, commercial and Medicaid insurers pay 50% more for C-sections tha...
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Aug
02

CNBC: Eli Lilly Confirms Probe by New York's Attorney General over Insulin Prices

HCCI's research on insulin prices was mentioned in a CNBC report. From the article: "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates more than 30 million Americans have diabetes. The annual cost of insulin for people with Type 1 diabetes in the U.S. nearly doubled from 2012 to 2016 to $5,700 from $2,900, according to an analysis by the nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute. Eli L...
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