Is the impact of managed care on hospital prices decreasing?

J Health Econ. 2008 Mar;27(2):362-76. doi: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2007.05.004. Epub 2007 Nov 29.


Prior studies find that the growth of managed care through the early 1990s introduced a strong positive relationship between price and concentration in hospital markets. We hypothesize that the relaxation of constraints on consumer choice in response to a "managed care backlash" has diminished the price sensitivity of demand facing hospitals, reducing or possibly reversing the price-concentration relationship. We test this hypothesis by studying the price/concentration relationship for hospitals in California and Florida for selected years between 1990 and 2003, while addressing the potential endogeneity of concentration. We find an increasingly positive price/concentration in the 1990s with a peak occurring by 2001. Between 2001 and 2003, the growth in this relationship halts and possibly reverses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • California
  • Economic Competition
  • Economics, Hospital
  • Florida
  • Hospital Charges / trends*
  • Managed Care Programs*
  • Patient Discharge