Cover: Hospital Pricing and the Uninsured

Hospital Pricing and the Uninsured

Do the Uninsured Pay Higher Prices?

Published In: Health Affairs, v. 27, no. 2, Feb. 5, 2008, p. w116-w122

Posted on on January 01, 2008

by Glenn Melnick, Katya Fonkych

Although the health care pricing literature has grown substantially in recent years, there has been little empirical analysis of how hospital pricing behavior affects the uninsured. The authors use unique data from California to compare actual prices paid by uninsured patients with prices paid by commercial and Medicare patients. The authors find that uninsured patients pay prices similar to those of Medicare patients. Further, they find that despite increased media attention, hospital prices to the uninsured have risen in recent years.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.