Hospitals in Study Can’t Be Shamed Into Lowering Their Prices

Calling out hospitals for overcharging doesn’t work, according to a study in the Journal of Health Care Finance. University of Florida researchers found that a year after U.S. hospitals being publicly taken to task for marking up prices by 1,000%, the 20 Florida hospitals on the list continued to raise prices even after the negative publicity. Hospitals can charge whatever they want, and that’s the problem, say researchers. That, and a lack of transparency and market competition.

Even though the 20 hospitals are geographically dispersed, they all belong to one of two health systems. Charges for the hospitals are significantly higher than other hospitals in Florida, and they’ve been trending that way from the third quarter of 2010 to the third quarter of 2015. The study states: “The significant media attention identifying these hospitals and health systems by name, and consumer and policymaker outrage in June of 2015, did not appear to lead these hospitals to reduce or moderate substantially their charges in the quarter immediately following the release of the information.”

Source: Journal of Health Care Finance