Insights into prices and utilization in the privately insured population
This session includes three papers, which use a large claims data set from the Health Care Cost Institute to evaluate prices within privately insured populations. The inclusion of “allowed charges” (i.e., the actual amounts paid to providers) in the data allows for investigating how market characteristics influence prices. The first paper examines the role of prices and utilization on geographic variations in inpatient expenditures, including how hospital market power influences prices. The second two papers examine the impact on prices, utilization, and expenditures of multispecialist phsyician groups. The second paper investigates if market power for specialist services within multispecialty physician groups leads to higher prices for services provided by primary care physicians.The third paper examines total expenditures and utilization among patients treated by generalists within multispecialty groups versus those treated by generalists in a generalist only group.