Slow Growth in Medicare Inpatient Payment Rates Leads to Lower Private Rates: Study
May 7—Lower Medicare payment rates lead to lower private rates for inpatient care, according to a study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC), published in the May issue of Health Affairs.
The study used a unique data set that combined market-level private payment rates with Medicare cost reports from hospitals in 257 markets across the country from 1995 through 2009. The markets were divided into low-, medium-, and high-growth markets based on the rate of Medicare payment rate growth.
The study findings indicate that, in that 15-year period, Medicare rates in low-growth markets increased 2.43 percent annually on average, while private rates grew 3.04 percent a year. In contrast, Medicare rates in high-growth markets increased 3.63 percent annually, while private rates increased 4.15 percent a year on average. The implication is that slow growth in Medicare payment rates has somewhat reined in the growth in private rates, according to the study.
Publication Date: Tuesday, May 07, 2013