Speaking of expensive hospital care, hospital prices for inpatient services increased more than the prices paid to doctors providing these services between 2013 and 2017, according to a new data brief by United Health Group.
- Hospital prices for inpatient services increased by 19% over this time period, or by 4.5% per year.
- Physician prices for inpatient services increased by 10%, or 2.5% per year.
Yes, but: Part of insurers’ job is to negotiate good rates for their enrollees, raising the question of how hospitals are able to cut such lucrative deals year after year.
- Insurers say their hands are tied by hospitals with ever-increasing market share, a result of consolidation. This also gives hospitals power over the physicians working in them.
By the numbers: Privately insured patients paid more than $200 billion for hospital inpatient services in 2018, according to the brief.
- This number is expected to rise to more than $350 billion in 2029.