An examination of U.S. hospital prices covering 25 states shows that in 2017, the prices paid to hospitals for privately insured patients averaged 241 percent of what Medicare would have paid. There was also wide variation in prices among states.
RAND Health Care Price Transparency
Though disagreement about U.S. health care reform abounds, most agree on this: health care costs have spiraled out of control. High prices are especially relevant for the more than 150 million Americans that receive health benefits from an employer. Getting good value for the health care dollar is a tremendous challenge, and the complexity of how health care services are paid for makes it difficult to spot which problems to tackle.
Unfortunately, health care prices are not transparent. Prices for health care services are often hidden behind contracts and difficult to interpret. The lack of transparency around health care prices limits the ability of employers and other purchasers to achieve value. Despite spending billions of dollars per year on health care, employers have little insight into the prices negotiated on their behalf.
RAND’s research on health care price transparency aims to shed light on health care prices. This information can help employers monitor the prices they pay and redesign their benefits to prioritize high-value hospitals and providers.
Exploring Hospital Price Transparency
We continue to explore hospital pricing in partnership with employers around the United States in Round 3 of our hospital price transparency project.
If you or your company are interested in participating in round 3, please use the form on the Contact Us page to express your interest.
To learn more about participating in Round 3 of the hospital price transparency study, visit our FAQ page.