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Hospital execs’ illogical cost-shifting rhetoric

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Austin Frakt,  a health economist, goes after the illogic of hospital executives’ assertion that they have to make up reduced reimbursement from Medicaid and Medicare by charging higher prices to insured patients.

”{P}ublic policy that holds or pushes down Medicare and Medicaid prices (or their growth) could put downward pressure on the prices hospitals can charge to all its customers and, in turn, on the premiums we pay to insurers.”

”It’s natural, then, that hospital executives continue to promote the idea of cost shifting. The widespread belief they encourage — that it promotes higher premiums — could foster support for larger public payments. It may be a politically useful argument, but it is an economically flawed one.”

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