Healthcare price growth significantly outpaces inflation | Modern Healthcare

Healthcare prices continue to rise across the country, according to a new study.

Over a five-year period, healthcare prices increased in 111 out of 112 metro areas analyzed by the Health Care Cost Institute. The outlier was Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C., where prices dropped 5% from 2012 to 2016, HCCI’s analysis of 1.78 billion commercial health insurance claims showed.

Healthcare prices grew about 16% over that period, which was about three times the inflation rate, said Bill Johnson, the author of the report and senior researcher at HCCI.

“Prices aren’t going down virtually anywhere, no matter where you are looking,” he said.

There was wide variation across markets as prices of inpatient, outpatient and professional services increased or decreased at different rates.

In Green Bay, Wis., for instance, physician and other ambulatory-care prices were 43% higher than the national average, while inpatient and outpatient prices were 16% and 7% lower. In El Paso, Texas, the opposite was true—professional services prices were 19% lower than the national benchmark, and inpatient and outpatient prices were 21% higher.

In 2016, 88 markets were at or below the national average. Durham-Chapel Hill’s price levels, for instance, were 16% below the national average. The lowest, Baltimore, was 33% lower than the national average while Anchorage, Alaska, and San Jose, Calif., were 65% higher. That means that prices in San Jose were 2.5 times those in Baltimore.

Read complete article here:

Healthcare price growth significantly outpaces inflation – Modern Healthcare.