“Hospitals that charge higher prices for inpatient care do not necessarily rank higher than their lower-priced peers on objective measures of quality, a Health Affairs study found. But what they do have is market clout.

“The wide variation in hospital prices was highlighted last year when the CMS released billing data for common inpatient and outpatient procedures. Hospitals responded at the time that the data only represented chargemaster prices and were not a reflection of what they actually receive for their services.

“For the Health Affairs study, which was funded by the nonpartisan National Institute for Health Care Reform and expanded on an issue brief from the Center For Studying Health System Change published last fall, researchers looked not at posted charges but actual negotiated prices paid by private health plans. They analyzed 2011 claims data submitted for nonelderly active and retired autoworkers and their dependents in 13 Midwestern markets.”  — Beth Kutscher, via Hospital prices more correlated to reputation, market share than quality, study finds | Vital Signs | The healthcare business blog from Modern Healthcare.

Jeanne Pinder

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...