fah hospital policy blog

Perspectives on health policy affecting America’s hospitals and the patients we serve.

New Altarum Report Shows First-Ever Negative Hospital Price Growth

March 13, 2015 | FAH Hospital Policy Blog Team

Category: Health Care Delivery, Realignment

Today, the Altarum Institute released its monthly Health Sector Economic Indicators Price Brief showing evidence of negative hospital price growth for Medicare and “other” payers. According to the report, January 2015 data indicate an overall negative hospital price growth for the first time ever.

The Altarum Institute’s monthly reports regularly reveal key insights into the health of health care and this month’s report reveals key news for hospital price growth:

“The big news is the first ever negative hospital price growth (-0.1%), along with the historically low hospital price growth for Medicare (-2.9%) and “other” payers (1.6%).”

The health care market showed a continued decrease in growth for Medicare and “other” prices:

“Medicare and Medicaid prices grew more slowly than “other” prices, which include private payment. Hospital prices for Medicare and Medicaid patients changed by -2.9% and -0.1%, respectively, down 2.2% from December for Medicare and down 0.5% for Medicaid.“

Further, the report’s negative hospital price growth data reconfirm the truth about hospital realignment, refuting the enduring misconception that hospital realignment leads to hospital price increases. As the report directly states:

“The long predicted hospital price growth due to consolidation is nowhere to be found!”