Charlotte’s high cost of health make it one of the most expensive metro areas in the US
Costs are higher in the nation’s most monopolistic hospital markets, and according to the Health News report, "When it comes to giving patients choices in health care, North Carolina fares badly."
A Carolina Journal article by Julie Havlak states, "Where hospitals have market power, they tend to use it. It’s just economics, Patients aren’t paying more because what they’re getting is worth more. They’re paying more because of hospitals’ market power.”
The Health News reports shows NC patients are paying more "especially in Charlotte. Patients shelled out 15% more for health care in the Charlotte and Greensboro areas...even as patients’ use dropped across the board, according to another HCCI report."
Charlotte’s high cost of health care came in at the 16th most expensive metro area in the US, showing Charlotte charged similar prices to New York City.
“It’s not that people are using more or that they’re getting more for their health care dollars, it appears to be the opposite,” Johnson said. “The fact of the matter is that health care prices have badly outpaced inflation over pretty much any period that we’ve studied … But we’re not getting more for what we’re spending.”
Patients in both Raleigh and Winston-Salem seem to have fared better, as they paid prices below the national median. But the HCCI wasn’t able to access data from Blue Cross Blue Shield, so the results may not reflect the total market, said Johnson.
“Among wealthy countries, the U.S. is an outlier when it comes to total health spending. But we don’t necessarily have improved health outcomes. Where does that gap come from? Not use, but higher prices,” said Rabah Kamal, Kaiser Family Foundation analyst. “There are certain areas that come up in terms of potential cost-cutting opportunities, like waste and errors, but in general, the price is the top difference." READ MORE HERE: https://www.laurinburgexchange.com/features/health/29194/n-c-hospital-monopolies-driving-cost-of-health-care
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