“Bargaining leverage, not the cost of providing complex care, is the main reason why some hospitals can demand prices twice as high as their competitors’ and still get contracts to treat privately insured patients, according to a new study.

“The analysis by the Center for Studying Health System Change of actual payments to hospitals and physicians by private insurers in 13 U.S. cities found that the most expensive hospitals got rates as much as 60% more than the lowest-priced competitor for inpatient care, and prices that were double the competition for outpatient care.” Joe Carlson, “Clout, not costs, drives higher charges from hospitals, study says,” Modern Healthcare.

The actual study is here.

Jeanne Pinder  is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded...