Capsules: What A Hospital Charges Vs. What Medicare Pays; Competition Spurs Ore. Insurers To Lower Proposed Rates

Now on Kaiser Health News' blog, Alaska Public Radio's Annie Feidt, working in partnership with KHN and NPR, offers this report on hospital charges: "For the first time, the federal government has publicly shared what hospitals bill Medicare for the 100 most common diagnoses and treatments. The information shows hospitals across the country — and across Alaska — bill dramatically different prices for the same things" (Feidt, 5/13).

Also on the blog, Phil Galewitz reports on competition between insurers in Oregon: "Maybe competition among health insurance plans can lead to lower rates. As soon as Oregon this week became the fourth state to publicly list health insurers' proposed 2014 rates for individual and small group coverage, two plans moved to cut their suggested prices, the Oregonian reported Friday. Providence Health Plan and Family Care Health Plans sought to lower their rates when they noticed they were out of whack compared to competitors — five months before the health law's new online marketplaces even open for enrollment" (Galewitz, 5/10). Check out what else is on the blog.

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