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A new report published in the Health Affairs Journal is shedding light on the price differences between commercial plans and Medicare Advantage Plans (MA) for hospitals – when negotiated by the same insurer.

The report, co-authored by Mark Katz Meiselbach, Yang Wang, Ge Bai and Gerald F. Anderson, all of Johns Hopkins University, says that insurers negotiated median hospital prices for commercial plans that were two to three times higher than their MA prices in the same hospital for the same service. The median commercial-to-MA price ratio in the same hospital varied, from 1.8 for surgery and medicine services to 2.2 for laboratory tests and emergency department visits and 2.4 for imaging services.

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