Study says providers collecting $89B extra from private payers

If public health insurance programs raised pay for hospitals and physicians, private health insurance premiums could be much lower, suggests a new study sponsored by hospital and insurance interests.

The report, which was written by consulting firm Milliman, concluded that private payers spent an additional $89 billion a year in 2006 and 2007, given the extent to which physicians and hospitals were probably relying on private insurance to make up for lower federal health plan rates.

Researchers with Milliman concluded that average annual health insurance spending for a family of four would fall $1,788 per year, including $1,512 less in private insurance premiums, if Medicare and Medicaid raised fees and private payers lowered their reimbursement levels to the same levels.

To learn more about the study:
- read this AMNews piece