The Growing Difference Between Public and Private Payment Rates for Inpatient Hospital Care

Published in: Health Affairs, v. 34, no. 12, Dec. 2015, p. 2147-2150

by Thomas M. Selden, Zeynal Karaca, Patricia Seliger Keenan, Chapin White, Richard Kronick

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The difference between private and public (Medicare and Medicaid) payment rates for inpatient hospital stays widened between 1996 and 2012. Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data reveal that standardized private insurer payment rates in 2012 were approximately 75 percent greater than Medicare's--a sharp increase from the differential of approximately 10 percent in the period 1996–2001.

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