Controlling Health Care Costs Depends on Where You Live
Managing the ever-rising cost of health spending was one of the goals of the Affordable Care Act. Hospitals and doctors are to be rewarded based on lower costs and better outcomes for patients. The ACA’s reforms have taken place through Medicare, but the commercial market response has been left to providers and insurers. Now, a comprehensive, independent study by the Health Care Cost Institute, published in Modern Healthcare, finds that geographic location is the biggest single factor in the wide variations in pricing for medical procedures. Researchers found that the national average price for 242 common services varied extensively across states, as well as within metropolitan areas. These variations are “most likely due to varying market power, a lack of transparency, or the availability of alternative treatments,” according to the report. This is a big problem in search of solutions—ideas, anyone?
John Howell, Editorial Director
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