Commercial-to-Medicare Price Ratios Remain Stable, Vary Across Regions

Commercial health plans pay much higher prices for hospital care than public payers, but just how much higher those prices are is far from uniform across the country. Between 2012 and 2019, average commercial-to-Medicare price ratios were relatively stable, with a 7% increase, but there were large increases in some hospital referral regions (HRRs) and reductions in others, according a study published in Health Affairs. Researchers suggested that restraining the growth rate of HRR commercial price ratios to the national average “would have reduced aggregate health care spending by $39 billion in 2019.”

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Jinghong Chen

Jinghong Chen Reporter

Jinghong has been producing infographics and data stories on employer-sponsored insurance, public health insurance programs and prescription drug coverage for AIS Health’s Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits since 2018. She also manages AIS Health’s annual executive compensation database for top insurers and Blue Cross and Blue Shield affiliates. Before joining AIS Health, she interned at WBEZ, Al Jazeera English and The New York Times Chinese. She graduated from Missouri School of Journalism with a focus on data journalism and international reporting.

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