Reports on Health Care

The reports below represent a sample of Frontier Group’s work on Health Care. For more of our reports on this and related topics, please visit www.PolicyArchive.org. Full archive coming soon.

Your Price May Vary: Geographic Variations in Hospital Charges in California

The rising cost of health care consumes a growing share of household, business and government spending. Research shows that not all increases in health care costs translate into better outcomes for patients. Your Price May Vary reveals the dramatic regional variations in the prices charged for common surgeries in California - variations that may shed light on opportunities for cutting health care costs while maintaining high-quality care.

(July 2012)
Cutting Red Tape in Health Care: How Streamlining Billing Can Reduce California's Health Care Costs

California’s health care system is broken. Costs are rising faster than either inflation or wages, and wasteful spending is a major culprit. Inefficient and duplicative administrative systems force doctors and hospitals to spend more time and money on administrative support than is necessary, which increases costs to patients. Cutting Red Tape in Health Care shows that, by following the example of other states and streamlining insurance billing and payment, and physician credentialing at hospitals, providers and payers in California can collectively save hundreds of millions of dollars annually and help lower the cost of health care.

(July 2009)
More Bang for the Health Care Buck: How an Efficiency Standard for Health Insurers Can Reduce Overhead and Deliver More Patient Care

The money that insurance companies spend on inefficient administration, billing and marketing – instead of medical care for their enrollees – contributes to the high health care costs Californians must endure. To encourage efficiency and get costs under control, California should require health plans and insurers to spend at least 85 percent of revenue on health care. The majority of California health plans, including small, large, non-profit and for-profit HMOs, already meet this efficiency standard, as do a large percentage of health plans and insurers across the country. In 2007, the absence of an 85 percent floor allowed California health insurance companies to spend $1.1 billion on administration and profits instead of health care.

(May 2009)
Diagnosing the High Cost of Health Care: How Spending on Unnecessary Treatments, Administrative Waste, and Overpriced Drugs Inflates the Cost of Health Care in California

California spends billions of health care dollars on unnecessary treatments and services, administrative waste, and overpriced, sometimes harmful, medications. Researchers, pundits and health care professionals have suggested possible causes for rising health care costs, from the cost of caring for an aging population to the price of malpractice insurance. These factors play a very small role in the cost of health care, and addressing them would not change the price of care. Nor would imposing “cost containment” or rationing of care be an acceptable solution. Rather, it requires reducing health care spending that fails to improve patient health. This report focuses on three major categories of unproductive spending: overuse of invasive treatments, intensive services, and hospitalization; excessive administrative costs; and prescription drug marketing that encourages the use of more drugs, more expensive drugs, and drugs with a less established record of safety.

(June 2008)