A new RAND study examines just how much more private plans pay for hospital care. (Getty/everydayplus) A new study puts a number to just how much more private health plans are paying for hospital services compared to Medicare.
Researchers at RAND Corporation analyzed claims data from 2016 to 2018 representing $33.8 billion in spending at 3,112 hospitals across all 50 states except Maryland and found private insurers, on average, paid prices 247% higher for hospital care than Medicare.
Prices varied widely between states, according to the study, with some, such as Arkansas, Michigan and Rhode Island, with prices below 200% higher than Medicare. Others such as Florida, Tennessee and Alaska, saw prices that were more than 325% higher than Medicare rates.
Christopher Whaley, the study’s lead author and a policy researcher at RAND, told Fierce Healthcare that employers lack easy access to data on healthcare pricing despite the fact that it’s typically their largest expense after wages.
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“There’s just been this kind of ecosystem that’s evolved around the employer market that’s made it hard for employers to get information about prices,” Whaley said.Employers have been largely hands-off […]
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