US healthcare prices grow nearly 22% since 2007: 4 study findings

A new Kaiser Family Foundation study provides insights into the growth of U.S. healthcare prices.  

For the study, researchers examined a private insurance claims sample from the Truven Health Analytics MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters Database. These claims were provided by large employers with more than 1,000 employees. The study also involved a subset of claims from 2003 through 2016.

Here are four study findings.

1. Healthcare prices have increased nearly 22 percent since December 2007, outpacing price increases in the general economy, which have increased approximately 17 percent.

2. Inpatient hospital care prices grew at a faster rate for privately insured Americans compared to Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries between mid-2014 and the first quarter of this year (about 13 percent vs. about 3 percent). Inpatient hospital care prices also grew at a faster rate for privately insured Americans than for the general economy.

3. The study also found average inflation-adjusted inpatient hospital stay prices for privately insured Americans were nearly 70 percent higher than for Medicare beneficiaries in 2015.

4. Researchers identified large price variation with respect to common procedures. The average price of a full knee replacement for Americans covered by large employers increased 74 percent between 2003 and 2016, from $19,595 to $34,063. However, while the average price for the procedure was $34,063 in 2016, 25 percent of admissions for a full knee replacement had a price of $24,734 or less, and another 25 percent experienced prices above $39,786.

Read more about the study here.


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