Article

Do Declining Private Insurance Coverage Rates Influence Pediatric Hospital Charging Practices?

The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, 700 Children's Drive, Columbus, OH 43205, USA.
Clinical Pediatrics (Impact Factor: 1.26). 02/2011; 50(5):417-23. DOI: 10.1177/0009922810393498
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To analyze trends in primary payer composition for pediatric hospitalizations and insurance coverage rates from 2000 to 2006 and possible effects on hospital charging practices.
We documented national trends in hospital charge-to-cost ratios and primary payer mixes for pediatric discharges from 2000 to 2006 using the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Kid's Inpatient Database (KID). We then performed regression analyses at the hospital level to analyze associations between pediatric insurance coverage rates and hospital charge-to-cost ratios.
We found pediatric inpatient charge-to-cost ratios increased dramatically during study period. Charge-to-cost ratios were higher for hospitals located in states with either higher uninsurance rates or a public-private coverage mix that was skewed towards public coverage.
This study provides evidence of both important changes in pediatric health insurance distribution in the United States and hospital charging practices.

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