Photo: Bigstock. Some have speculated that the lower reimbursement from Medicare means that hospitals charge commercial insurers more to compensate.

Spending for health care services has risen faster for commercial insurers than the government-sponsored Medicare program, a new report has found. The study, from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), examined the different market forces that are driving the higher rate of health care spending.

“In recent years, commercial health insurers’ per-person spending on hospitals’ and physicians’ services has grown more quickly than analogous spending by the Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) program,” the report said. “The main reason for the growth of per-person spending by commercial insurers—and for the difference from the growth of per-person spending by Medicare FFS—has been rapid increases in the prices that commercial insurers pay for hospitals’ and physicians’ services.”

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