Study: Different Hospital Prices Drive One-Third of Healthcare Spending Variation
Center for Studying Health System Change.
The study looked at claims data for 218,000 active and retired non-elderly unionized autoworkers and their dependents in 2009. The study looked at this particular population because unionized autoworkers' health plans are mostly universal across the country.
Healthcare spending ranged from a low of $4,500 per person in Buffalo, N.Y., in 2009 to a high of $9,000 in Lake County, Ill. Differences in the number of services utilized accounted for two-thirds of the overall variation, while differences in hospital prices accounted for one-third.
For example, the average price for inpatient hospital care paid by the autoworker plan was 55 percent higher than what Medicare would pay. The lowest-price areas (St. Louis and Syracuse, N.Y.) were 30 percent higher than Medicare, while the highest-price areas (Lake County) were roughly 250 percent higher than Medicare.
Related Articles on Hospital Prices:
© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2012. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.
To receive the latest hospital and health system business and legal news and analysis from Becker's Hospital Review, sign-up for the free Becker's Hospital Review E-weekly by clicking here.