Cost versus revenue on chalkboardRAND essentially dismissed the claim by providers that Medicare reimbursement rates are too low and must be offset by charging more to those with deeper pockets—i.e., employers. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Hospitals charge employers and private health insurers, on average, two-and-a-half times the Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement rate. And that multiplier has been increasing steadily since 2016.

Thus reports RAND in an exhaustive study based upon mountains of hospital payment data from 2018. Its goal for the research: to bring a greater measure of cost transparency to the discussion about whether or not employer plans (and their members) are being gouged by hospitals.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.