Are Health Insurers Bad Negotiators? NYT Article Stirs Debate

After the New York Times published an investigation into newly public negotiated rates between hospitals and insurers — and concluded that insurers have “little incentive” to negotiate lower costs — top industry trade group AHIP hit back with a blog post claiming that the article “spotlights a lot of numbers with little context, no clarity for patients, and no insight that helps anyone shop for care.”

Industry observers and health care economists who spoke to AIS Health, a division of MMIT, appear to be split on the issue of whether health plans are actually bad negotiators.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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