Report: Pa.'s hospital price increases among highest
The average annual inpatient hospital price increase in Pennsylvania from 2008 to 2010 was among the nation's highest, according to a new report from America's Health Insurance Plans.
The report studied costs for the commercially insured population under 65 and reported that the nationwide average was 8.2 percent, of which up to 1.9 percent was attributable to increased intensity or complexity of treatment. It noted “wide variation in price levels and growth rates across states and localities. ”
Pennsylvania ranked fourth highest among the states with sufficient data to report at 8.4 percent, following New York, Texas and Tennessee. Among metropolitan areas, Lancaster was 10th highest nationally, at 10.8 percent.
The report noted that it could not track factors such as more patients staying in individual rooms or a higher nurse-to-bed ratio, which could be considered service enhancements rather than price increases.
The highest price growth in common medical procedures was for spinal fusion at 15.2 percent, followed by bronchitis and asthma treatment at 10.3 percent and uterine laparoscopic procedure for nonmalignancy.