April 5, 2022
  • A recent RAND Corporation study found that regional health care markets across the country have experienced significant divergence in commercial-to-Medicare price ratios between 2012 and 2019, causing insurers to pay vastly different rates to hospital systems. Nationwide, hospital costs charged to commercial health plans averaged 173 percent of Medicare payment rates in 2012, and the national commercial-to-Medicare price ratio only increased to 180 percent in 2019. In areas like Chico, California and Tacoma, Washington, private payers saw hospital price ratios increase by over 100 percentage points. Conversely, Gulfport, Mississippi had a decrease of 109 percentage points. (Study here)