A new study in Health Affairs in May has found that a hospital’s ability to increase payments was impacted by a number of factors including its reputation, location and the types of medical services they provide. The study was conducted by Paul Ginsburg, president of the Center for Stuyding Health System Change; Urban Institute fellow Robert Berenson; University of Minnesota health policy professor Jon Christianson; and researcher Tracy Yee.
The study is of particular significance because many have worried that President Barack Obama’s health reform will create more monopolies and increase the number of hospitals raising their prices. This study argues that it’s already happening and that it’s not related to the health care reforms.
The analysis published in Health Affairs compartmentalized the hospitals into three categories; these included the “must-haves” which means they are hospitals that insurers have to have in their networks, second tiers which include specialized services that insurers want to have, and then third tier hospitals which had the least bargaining power.
As report co-author Paul Ginsburg said “What we found is that the leverage of some hospitals is growing. That’s a contributor to rising health care spending.”