RevCycle Intelligence March 2, 2022
In concentrated markets with little competition, high hospital prices reflected the lack of healthcare options and did not improve patient health outcomes.
Receiving care from higher-priced hospitals only led to better health outcomes when the facility was in a relatively unconcentrated market. There was no association between high prices and mortality at hospitals in concentrated markets, according to a study published in the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
As hospital prices continue to rise, experts have noted that regulating prices in areas with high competition helps improve patient outcomes, if reimbursement rates exceed marginal costs.
However, hospital prices are typically unregulated and market-determined, in which case the level of market competition can impact costs and quality of care.