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Private Health Insurance: Geographic Variation in Spending for Certain High-Cost Procedures Driven by Inpatient Prices
James Cosgrove (au)
Research shows that spending on health care varies by geographic areaand that higher spending in an area is not always associated with betterquality of care. While a substantial body of research exists on geographic variation in spending in Medicare, less research has been done on variation in private sector health care spending, although this spending accounts for about a third of overall health care spending. As U.S. health expenditures continue to rise, there is interest in better understanding spending variation and how health care systems can provide equivalent or higher quality care while maintaining or lowering current spending levels. This report examined (1) how spending per episode of care for certain high-cost procedures varies across geographic areas for private payers; and (2) how the mix of service types, and the volume, intensity, and price of services contribute to variation in episode spending across geographic areas for private payers. Tables and figures.
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