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Patient costs not linked to insurance contribution, hospital price, study finds

February 26, 2019 / Jacqueline Renfrow

There is almost no correlation between a patient’s out-of-pocket cost and the amount insurers pay or the overall price of a procedure, according to a Pioneer Institute study released Tuesday. The study looked at the cost for an MRI at 14 Massachusetts hospitals and found that even if there was not much of a difference in what patients paid at each hospital, there was a higher utilization of expensive providers, ultimately driving up premiums, according to co-author and Pioneer Institute Senior Fellow Barbara Anthony. For example, the total price for an MRI ranged from $476 at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts, to $1,423 at Boston Children’s Hospital.  “What’s definitely proven here in Massachusetts is that there are variations in price that are hard to explain because they are not based on patients’ quality of care so the conclusion we draw is that some institutions have market power to extract higher prices,” Anthony told FierceH...