Better Solutions for Healthcare

AJC Report: Many Atlanta area hospital prices more than double Medicare’s

By Ariel Hart

August 8, 2020

Some metro Atlanta hospital prices are higher than those paid in many other states, according to a report by the Rand Corp.

Health care prices are notoriously difficult for the public to figure out. Both insurance companies and health care providers are reluctant to give out the actual price they were willing to settle on in negotiations. So as they prepare for their next rounds of negotiations, self-insured companies and other health plans paid Rand to determine what they were paying compared with the rest of the market.

The health plans gave Rand the prices they paid to hospitals. Looking just at those prices — $15 billion worth of services, a very small slice of the U.S. market over the three years studied — the hospitals in metro Atlanta ranked 8th out of the 25 states Rand ranked. All the Georgia prices came out of metro Atlanta.

Michigan ranked lowest, with private payers paying hospitals about 150% of what Medicare pays. That’s far less than the highest-price state in the report, Indiana, where hospitals charged private payers more than 300% of the Indiana Medicare price.

Georgia’s prices in the report were about 240% of Medicare prices….