The prices paid for hospital services have long had a strange dichotomy. For the 37% of the population insured by Medicare or Medicaid, prices are publicly available and generally increase slowly. By contrast, prices for the commercially insured population are privately negotiated, proprietary, and confidential. These rates are closely guarded by health plans, who are convinced that negotiating with clinicians and health care organizations on behalf of consumers is a source of competitive differentiation.
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Koller CF, Khullar D. The Commercial Differential for Hospital Prices: Responses From States and Employers. JAMA. Published online July 22, 2019322(8):723–724. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.9275
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