“The information gathered through this process about how health care is paid for is unprecendented in Massachusetts, and unique in the nation,” said Coakley. “Access to this information has allowed us to identify what factors contribute to the ever-rising cost of health care in Massachusetts. We found that health care costs most closely correlated to the market leverage of hospitals and physician groups, rather than other issues that we would expect – like quality of care or patient population."
Seven key drivers identified by the study that have powerful implications for the health care marketplace in Massachusetts are:
- Prices paid by health insurance companies to hospitals and physician groups vary significantly within the same geographic area and amongst providers offering similar levels of service;
- Price variations for hospitals and physicians offering similar services are not explained by
- quality of care,
- the complexity of services or the sickness of the population being served,
the extent to which a hospital cares for a large portion of patients on Medicare or Medicaid , or
- whether the hospital is an academic teaching or research facility;
The final report is available on the Attorney General’s website.