commercial insurers pay much higher prices for hospitals' and physicians' services than Medicare FFS does.
In addition, the prices that commercial insurers pay hospitals are much higher than hospitals' costs.
Paying higher prices to providers can have several effects.
First, it can increase insurers' spending on claims, which may lead to higher premiums, greater cost-sharing requirements for patients...
Second, it can increase the federal government's subsidies for health care .
And third, it can slow the growth of wages.
The share of providers' patients who are covered by Medicare and Medicaid is not related to higher prices paid by commercial insurers. That finding suggests that providers do not raise the prices they negotiate with commercial insurers to offset lower prices paid by government programs (a concept known as cost shifting).
Ok, that said, these are findings based on national data…things are different market to market.
I'd note that price increases in workers' comp correlates with states' Medicaid expansion. That is, price inflation is generally much higher in states that did NOT expand medicaid.
Disclaimer: WorkersCompensation.com publishes independently generated writings from a variety of workers' compensation industry stakeholders. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of WorkersCompensation.com.