Latest CMS Data Drop Shows Regional Variation in Spending on Inpatient, Post-Acute Care

The CMS' release of per capita spending for Medicare beneficiaries shows that some states, particularly in the South, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, are spending significantly more on inpatient and post-acute care than northern and western states.

The CMS' release of per capita spending for Medicare beneficiaries shows that some states, particularly in the South, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, are spending significantly more on inpatient and post-acute care than northern and western states.

The agency released the state-level Medicare payment data at this week's Health Datapalooza conference in Washington. It also updated its database of common inpatient and outpatient charges with 2012 numbers.

Despite controversy over whether these wholesale prices are relevant to consumers—who typically pay either negotiated insurance rates or receive financial assistance—price transparency experts say the state-level data can be instructive.

“It's exciting that we're all having this national conversation about cost,” said Robin Gelburd, president of FAIR Health, a not-for-profit organization that compiles a national database of healthcare claims. “It's like we're in a living laboratory as we speak.”

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Source: Modern Healthcare