Nation's biggest healthcare price markups are in Texas, researchers find

A new study from Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University found that Texas had the highest healthcare price markups in the U.S., according to the Texas Standard .

For the study, Johns Hopkins researchers examined healthcare markup ratios in every U.S. county from 2017 to 2018. The ratio is the amount a hospital charges for a service compared to the "allowable amount" that Medicare determines the service is worth.

Researchers found that Texas had the nation's highest healthcare markup ratio, with ratios being highest in Brownsville-Harlingen, Laredo and El Paso, the Standard reported.

"The sticker prices of a lot of Texas hospitals are the highest in the country," Marty Makary, MD, one of the researchers, told the newspaper. "When we look at those actual prices, we don't know what they mean."

Dr. Makary, a surgeon and professor at Johns Hopkins, said most patients don't realize that hospital bills are often negotiable, and many don't know healthcare costs before they receive elective services. He told Becker's Hospital Review this "lack of transparency … enables price-gouging by some."

Read the full Standard article here.


More articles on healthcare finance: 

M&A may bring long-term benefit for nonprofit hospitals, Fitch says
SSM Health to transfer billing operations in Wisconsin
Hospitals slam CMS proposal to disclose negotiated rates

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