Hospital Outpatient Prices Vary Widely for Managed Medicaid Insurers

The outpatient prices Medicaid managed care insurers pay to hospitals vary considerably based on geography and type of service, according to a cross-sectional study published on Nov. 28 in JAMA Network Open. The authors examined publicly available data and noted the results suggest the prices could affect government health expenditures and access to care for Medicaid members.

However, Jeffrey Marr, a Ph.D. candidate at Johns Hopkins University and the study’s lead author, acknowledges the analysis “raises more questions than it answers” in part because the researchers could not determine the reasons for the variation. Two health care insiders tell AIS Health, a division of MMIT, that the study reinforces there are still questions related to the usefulness of the hospital price transparency rule that went into effect in 2021 and the various definitions for prices.

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Tim Casey

Tim Casey

Tim has worked as a reporter and editor for more than 20 years. Before joining AIS Health in December 2021, he was a business reporter covering the commercial real estate industry’s capital markets for four years. He previously covered health care business issues for two medical publishing companies and high school, college and professional sports for the Sacramento Bee newspaper. Tim has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame and an M.B.A. from Georgetown University.

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