The Affordable Care Act primarily addressed the cost and availability of health insurance. What about the cost of healthcare? An Unprecedented Look at Medical Costs Nationwide talks about The Health Care Pricing Project, which is looking at exactly that.
Researchers from Yale University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the London School of Economics examined $682 billion of healthcare bills for 88 million people from Aetna, Humana, and UnitedHealth. The study was funded by The Commonwealth Fund, National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation, and Economic and Social Research Council.
Here are some highlights from their first paper, The Price Ain’t Right? Hospital Prices and Health Spending on the Privately Insured:
- “If you happen to live in an area with only one hospital you are going to pay more.”
- “After decades of mergers, nearly a third of US markets have monopolies, or are close to having monopolies.”
- Variation in provider price drives spending differences across Hospital Referral Regions for employer-sponsored insurance. Variation in quantity of care provided drives spending differences in Medicare.
- Prices vary widely across the nation and significantly even within Hospital Referral Regions.
How does the variation in prices of health care services and it's influence on spending levels across the nation impact your organization?