Employer, Hospital Tensions Rise Over Price Transparency
Employers offering health insurance coverage are closely analyzing hospital price data to get better prices for their employees, leading to tension with hospitals.
Wall Street Journal
High-Priced Hospitals in Indiana Press Their Political Luck
If the state’s big nonprofit health systems can’t find a way to control prices, legislators will.
Indiana lawmakers target healthcare costs: ‘Fix it, the best solution will come from you’
Indiana lawmakers have inserted themselves into the ongoing conversation over health care prices in the state, which are among the highest in the nation, asking hospital and insurance leaders to work together to develop a plan to lower the cost of medical care.
Michael Hicks: IU Health’s price freeze is a gimmick
Last month the state’s largest healthcare firm, IU Health, announced it would freeze prices through 2025.
The Goshen News
UNSUSTAINABLE: State lawmakers push health care industry to lower its prices
More than a year after an extensive study on hospital prices in the United States, Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston, R-Fishers, and Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville, sent a not-so-subtle threat in the form of letters to state insurers and hospitals.
Indiana House speaker: $416M 'gift' from IU Health to IU 'raises eyebrows and speculation'
A recent $416 million gift Indiana University Health made to the IU School of Medicine has left some critics wondering whether the nonprofit health system tried to sidestep uncomfortable questions about how much it is charging Hoosiers for health care.
IU Health, Facing Profit Questions, Gives Med School $416M
Indiana University Health has quietly donated $416 million to the Indiana University School of Medicine.
The Journal Gazette
Hospitals' indifference on cost containment apparent
On Jan. 4, Indiana Speaker of the House Todd Huston, R-Fishers, and Senate President Pro Tempore Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville, publicly called on eight Indiana nonprofit hospitals with prices above the national average to present a plan to the legislature by April 1, that would lower Indiana's hospital prices to at least a national average by Jan. 1, 2025.
The Shelbyville News
Hoosier employers bear burden of high hospital costs
The large Indiana hospitals say they want to do their part to lower the cost of health care for Hoosiers. Then they should do the right thing and lower their prices. Stop raking in record profits year after year in excess of 15 percent, stop shifting funds around to mask the bottom line, and simply negotiate responsible reimbursement rates in line with the national average. That is how they can help Hoosiers.
Study: Indiana ranks in top 10 for hospital prices in nation
Indiana is one of the most expensive places in the country to receive both inpatient and outpatient hospital care, according to a study. The RAND 4.0 Hospital Transparency Study ranks Indiana’s hospital prices seventh highest in the country. That number rises to fourth for inpatient services only, and sixth for outpatient services.
CBS4 investigates new ways to shop for medical procedures as groups try to lower Indiana’s healthcare costs
Studies show the average Hoosier spends anywhere between 10 to 20 percent of their income on healthcare, and new rules aim to force a drop in the high cost of that care. CBS4 delved into Indiana’s high medical costs, talking to people on both sides of the issue who agree that current costs are too high.
Hoosier watchdog group wants lower Parkview prices
In a full-page ad in Sunday’s Journal Gazette, Hoosiers for Affordable Healthcare asked Parkview Health to reduce their prices to the national average. Parkview told WANE 15 they have lowered prices and the group used old data in its claim.
IU Health announces local health investment; consumer advocate skeptical
An Indianapolis health care consumer advocate on Friday said Indiana University Health’s investment decisions could undercut efforts to lower prices. On Friday, IU Health announced it would invest $1 billion in various community health initiatives.
The Indianapolis Star
Indiana hospital care 7th highest in nation. Advocates continue to push for more cost transparency
Last week, an Indiana employers group unveiled the latest tools in the fight to decrease hospital costs — a new hospital pricing transparency website and the so-called Rand 4.0 study which found that Indiana hospital costs rank seventh highest in the nation. The two additions to the landscape could provide fodder for the debate about hospital costs in Indiana.
For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Savannah Kerstiens (812) 309-1212
Wednesday, February 9, 2022
Hoosiers for Affordable Healthcare has engaged its team of nationally renowned health and economic policy experts to carefully review a report recently released by the Indiana Hospital Association regarding the cost of insurance in Indiana.
Over the past several years, two studies by the RAND Corporation, a study by Harvard University, and a study by the Health Care Cost Institute have come to the same conclusion: The prices Hoosiers pay for hospital care are significantly higher than the national average. High prices show up in premiums, deductibles, and copayments, and accounting for all of those factors results in Hoosiers still spending far more on health care than people in most other states,” Al Hubbard, Hoosiers for Affordable Healthcare Board Chairman stated.
“We have asked our policy team to thoroughly analyze the recent report released and cited by the Indiana Hospital Association. Our policy team has expressed initial concerns about the methodology, including that the main methodology in the report excluded nearly three-quarters of the private market—those employers who self-insure. We will provide a thorough analysis to assist policy makers as they work to lower the price of hospital care for Hoosiers,” Hubbard said.
“Hoosier employers and individuals are acutely aware of just how expensive hospital care is in Indiana, and those that have businesses in multiple states are vocal about the fact that they pay more for care in Indiana than in virtually every other state. We have heard time and time again that the cost of hospital care in Indiana is an economic development disadvantage, and that it limits the ability of Hoosier employers to raise wages for their employees and grow their business.
“We are encouraged that IU Health has already committed to lowering their prices to the national average within the next few years. We hope other Indiana hospitals commit to this same important goal to help Indiana businesses’ flourish and to preserve greater net take-home pay for Hoosier families.”
Hoosiers for Affordable Healthcare is a 501(c)(4) coalition founded in 2020 to advocate for policies that lead to lower healthcare prices, particularly hospital prices, in Indiana.
Op-ed written by Hoosiers for Affordable Healthcare Chair Al Hubbard and Hoosiers for Affordable Healthcare Board Vice Chair and Employers’ Forum of Indiana’s President and CEO Dr. Gloria Sachdev
Friday, April 8, 2022
On January 4, 2022, Indiana Speaker of the House Todd Huston (R-Fishers) and Senate President Pro Tempore Rod Bray (R-Martinsville) publicly called on eight Indiana not-for-profit hospitals with prices above the national average to present a plan to the legislature by April 1, 2022, that would lower Indiana’s hospital prices to at least a national average by January 1, 2025. The letter stated that “absent a viable plan, we (the legislature) will be left with no choice but to pursue legislation to statutorily reduce prices.” Earlier this week, Pro Tempore Bray and Speaker Huston publicly released the plans that were submitted.
Hoosiers for Affordable Healthcare has reviewed the six publicly available responses. With a couple of notable exceptions, we find the results to be extremely disappointing. To its credit, IU Health distinguished itself as a leader among hospital respondents by committing to lowering its prices to the national average by January 1, 2025.
While we call on IU Health to commit to a more aggressive timeline and believe that the more than $9 billion in cash reserves that IU Health boasts gives it the opportunity to do just that, we do commend their commitment to lowering the prices Hoosiers pay to the national average and encourage them to adopt transparent accountability practices to document their progress.
The other 7 hospitals:
- Ascension Health _did not commit_to lowering its prices to the national average by January 1, 2025?
- Community Health Network _did not commit_to lowering its prices to the national average by January 1, 2025
- Deaconess Hospital _did not commit_to lowering its prices to the national average by January 1, 2025, but did articulate the fact that its prices are currently exceptionally close to the national average
- Franciscan Health _did not commit_to lowering its prices to the national average by January 1, 2025
- Parkview Health _did not commit_to lowering their prices to the national average by January 1, 2025, however, it did commit that its prices would be 22% lower in 2025 than they were in 2020 when adjusted for inflation
- No response from Beacon Health or Union Health was publicly released as of 4-8-22.
Concurrent with the letter sent to hospitals in January, Speaker Huston and Pro Tempore Bray sent a letter to the state’s health insurance carriers requesting that they work collaboratively with hospitals to present a plan to lower the out-of-control costs of hospital care in Indiana and to ensure that all savings are passed on to the consumer.
The Insurance Institute of Indiana, in conjunction with the Indiana Association of Health Plans, did commit to working with hospitals to enter contract negotiations targeting prices that are at or below the national average. It’s critical insurers negotiate aggressively on behalf of Hoosiers. We insist on high value health care.
Legislative leaders made a direct request of hospital systems to lower their prices to the national average by January 1, 2025. The vast majority of the responses that were submitted appear to intentionally ignore and disregard that request. Rather than offering solutions to lower Indiana’s high hospital prices, it seems that the vast majority of hospitals are openly inviting the heavy hand of government regulation to achieve this critically important goal.
Hoosiers for Affordable Healthcare will continue working with all stakeholders to lower the high cost of hospital care in Indiana.
Allan B. Hubbard, Chairman of Hoosiers for Affordable Healthcare
Dr. Gloria Sachdev, PharmD, Vice Chairwoman of Hoosiers for Affordable Healthcare