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Prices for Services at Hospitals Higher than Services by Physician Study Finds

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PBS NewsHour writes a new study published in Health Affairs finds that prices for services at hospitals rose far more than those by physicians during the same time period. For hospital-based inpatient care, prices set by the hospitals rose 42 percent between 2007 and 2014, according to the study. During those same seven years, prices set by physicians for inpatient care at hospitals grew 18 percent. For outpatient services, hospital prices went up 25 percent, while physician prices increased by 6 percent, the study said.

Researchers discovered this contrast by analyzing negotiated pricing data — what most people pay instead of the prices that hospitals list — from the Health Care Cost Institute, as well as Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealthCare. This posed a study limitation since it includes just three of the nation’s five largest insurers. In addition, claims weren’t measuring for quality of care.

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