Author Date

2020-02-26

Degree Name

BS

Department

Economics

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Defense Date

2020-03-06

Publication Date

2020-03-17

First Faculty Advisor

Mark Showalter

First Faculty Reader

Eric Eide

Honors Coordinator

John Stovall

Keywords

hospital, chargemaster, trends, healthcare, prices

Abstract

In light of recent price transparency laws, this paper examines evidence from hospital list prices, contained on “chargemasters,” with regard to price trends over time, price variation between hospitals, and price variation between categories of goods and services provided by hospitals. I use data from California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) for 32 general acute care hospitals in Los Angeles County from 2011–2019. The data shows that the average list price for hospitals in the sample rises by about 3% annually. Prices between hospitals in the sample, which are similar in geography and the population served, vary significantly. Different categories of goods and services provided by hospitals vary in average price and growth rate of price. Consistent with other research, imaging procedures are twice as expensive as all items, on average, and have grown in price over this time period by about 5%.

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