On Pregnancy Ultra-Sound Price Variations

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2 Responses

  1. Price Transparency Tool Increased Spending

    The Journal of the American Medical Association recently published a study of the impact of price transparency tools on healthcare spending at two large companies. Here are some key findings from the report:

    • Spending among employees with a price transparency tool went from $2021 before the tool to $2233.
    • Among controls, mean outpatient spending changed from $1985 to $2138.
    • Being offered the tool was associated with a mean $59 increase in outpatient spending.
    • Out-of-pocket spending among those offered the tool was $507 in the year before and $555 the year after.
    • Being offered the transparency tool was associated with a $18 increase in out-of-pocket spending.
    • In the first 12 months, 10% of employees who were offered the tool used it at least once.

    Source: JAMA, May 3, 2016

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  2. Variation in health outcomes

    The role of spending on social services, public health, and health care 2000-09

    ◾ A new study in Health Affairs looks at the association between variation in state-level health outcomes and how states allocate spending between healthcare and social services.

    ◾ Used data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, the CDC, and the National Center for Health Statistics for all 50 states to calculate state-level health outcomes (including but not limited to BMI, prevalence of asthma, and state-level mortality rates for AMI, lung cancer, and type 2 diabetes) and spending on social services and public health relative to healthcare spending to estimate any association between the two variables.

    States with a higher ratio of social to health spending had significantly better health outcomes for:

    ◾ Adult obesity
    ◾ Asthma
    ◾ Mortality rates for AMI, lung cancer, type II diabetes
    ◾ Mentally unhealthy days
    ◾ Days with activity limitations

    Implications

    Spending more on social services and public health rather than just on healthcare “may be key to understanding variations in health outcomes across the states,” but as the authors note from these findings we “cannot infer causality”.

    Camille

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