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NASHP Hospital Cost Tool Gives Insight on Spend on Patient Care Services

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To better understand hospital costs, the National Academy for State Policy (NASHP) in collaboration with Rice University Baker Institute for Public Policy and Mathematica Policy Research, with support from Arnold Ventures, has launched the interactive Hospital Cost Tool.

The tool provides state policymakers and researchers with analytical insights into how much hospitals spend on patient care services, and how such costs relate to the hospital charges (list prices) and actual prices paid by health plans, using hospitals’ annual Medicare Cost Reports.

The dashboard reports on a range of measures for hospital revenue, costs, profitability, and break-even points across over 4,600 hospitals nationwide for the period from 2011 through 2019. The dashboard offers options to view data at the hospital, state, and health system levels. The underlying HCT dataset includes approximately 60 variables extracted and calculated using data from the national Healthcare Cost Report Information System (HCRIS) as the main data source. Hospitals in this dataset represent approximately 70 million patient discharges and $49 billion hospital net income in the most recent reporting year.

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