New tool compares local health care costs; ERC generally higher than US average

With a few exceptions, health care prices in ERC communities are higher than the US average, according to the Healthy Marketplace Index. The Index is a map-based tool from the Health Care Cost Institute that compares local prices for inpatient, outpatient and physician services across the US for 2012, 2013 and 2014. The researchers found significant price variation between communities, especially in outpatient care. While prices have been rising across the US over those years, all ERC communities’ prices have risen faster than the rest of the nation. Among ERC communities included in the tool, only Baltimore’s prices are lower than the US average for inpatient, outpatient and physician services.

2014 health cost ratios

relative to US average

Inpatient Outpatient Physician services
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson 0.8 0.66 0.91
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington 1.24 1.16 0.97
Trenton 1.08 1.64 1.06
New York – Newark – Jersey City 1.31 1.16 1.1
Bridgeport – Stamford – Norwalk 1.27 1.09 1.16
New Haven – Milford 1.17 1.03 1.24
Hartford – West Hartford – East Hartford 1.15 1.02 1.18
Norwich – New London 1.18 1.08 1.04
Providence – Warwick 1.04 0.94 0.94
Portland – South Portland ME 1.19 0.94 1.1
US average 1.0 1.0 1.0