New Reports Highlight Health Care Costs
Several new studies examine health care costs.
The (Newark) Star-Ledger: "Nowhere is the sticker shock worse in the country than in New Jersey, according to health experts and a new report by the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, a prominent health care policy group based in Trenton. New Jersey's hospital 'charges' - the price list used to negotiate the cost of a bill for the uninsured and for insured people who use a hospital outside their network - are four times higher than the actual cost of treating a patient. ... Hospital executives say the vast majority of the 1.3 million uninsured people in New Jersey never pay the full sticker price. Charges are used as a negotiating starting point," they say (Livio, 12/13).
The Detroit News: "Michigan residents and health insurers spend less on health care than the national average, according to a report released today by the [University of Michigan's] Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation in Ann Arbor. The center found that in public sectors, such as Medicaid and Medicare, and the private sector, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, as well as patient out-of-pocket costs, Michigan spent $5,058 per person [yearly] on health care, compared to the national average of $5,283 per person, according to 2004 data, the most recent available" (Youssef, 12/14).
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports on an analysis and chart by Carnegie Mellon University professor Paul Fischbeck, which shows "that per capita health care spending in the United States is pretty similar to that in Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Japan -- until about age 60. Then, the line for the United States takes off like a rocket booster, soaring far above spending in the other nations. By the time American patients are 85, his work shows, we are spending between $40,000 and $45,000 a year on each one of them, compared with just over $10,000 a year in Germany, the next highest nation" (Roth, 12/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.