Money and Medicine According to EBRI, “site-of-treatment price differentials for specialty medications were eliminated, employers and workers would save as much as 36%, depending on the medication.” (Photo: Shutterstock)

As health care shifts from physicians’ offices to more costly hospital outpatient departments, the cost differential is hitting employers and employees hardest. Compounding this shift is the fact that prices for hospital-based outpatient care are increasing faster than physician prices.

According to new research by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) presented in a webinar on April 21, companies and their workers would collectively save $11.2 billion if price differentials between hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) and other sites of treatment were eliminated for each of the 25 health care services the institute examined. Those services include imaging, lab work, and specialty medications for conditions such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other inflammatory disorders.

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