According to a new brief from Altarum, health care prices have risen 2.2% since March of last year, the fastest annual growth rate since January 2012. One of the largest drivers of that price growth was hospitals. Altarum found that hospital prices have been growing annually at nearly 4%, the highest level in eight years.
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Murphycare could look a lot like Obamacare.
Lawmakers Thursday sent to Gov. Phil Murphy a bill that will require nearly all New Jerseyans to have health insurance or pay a penalty in a bid to stabilize premiums for consumers in the Obamacare marketplace.
They approved another bill that would set up a reinsurance plan that would partly be paid for by the federal government and cover some of the most expensive health care claims.
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The state’s antitrust lawsuit against Sutter Health is a welcome move to stop Sutter from inflating health care costs across the Northern California market.
The lawsuit alleges that Sutter has illegally used its market power to compel commercial health plans to contract with all or none of its hospitals, extract exorbitant prices and prohibit use of financial incentives to encourage use of lower-cost providers.
The problem is not just Sutter, however, but insurance-contracted provider networks (preferred provider organizations and health maintenance organizations), where insurers negotiate medical service prices, keep those prices hidden and make other private deals that maximize revenue at purchaser and consumer expense.
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