Study on hospital, physician prices uses 'limited data to draw broad conclusions,' hospital association says

The American Hospital Association is expressing concerns about a recent study published in Health Affairs on hospital and physician prices.

Tom Nickels, executive vice president of the American Hospital Association, said in an online statement that the authors use "limited data to draw broad conclusions."

The study suggests that hospital prices are a bigger driver of healthcare spending growth for the privately insured than physician prices.

Mr. Nickels notes that the study uses data from the Health Care Cost Institute that solely includes privately insured Americans under age 65 with coverage from Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealthcare. He said this represents only 27.6 percent of individuals with employer-sponsored insurance coverage. He said the analysis also does not include data from Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, although BCBS plans often have the biggest share of local markets.

Additionally, Mr. Nickels noted that hospitals and health systems are responsible for managing significant costs that don't apply to the physicians included in the study published in Health Affairs.

Read the AHA's full response to the study here.

 

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