New Data Enhances Hospital Cost Tool

New Data Enhances Hospital Cost Tool

Jan 25, 2024
Abstract image with various health icons

New data representing $36 billion in hospital net income from the most recent reporting year is now included in the Hospital Cost Tool (HCT 3.0), a dashboard created through a partnership between Mathematica, the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP), and Rice University’s Baker Institute, providing greater insights into the operating expenses and margins of thousands of hospitals nationwide.

The new Medicare Cost Report data, which includes about 64 million patient discharges, gives dashboard users enhanced reporting capabilities on a range of measures for hospital revenue, costs, profitability, and break-even points across more than 4,600 hospitals nationwide from 2011 through 2022. More than 100 variables are now available, extracted and calculated using data from the national Healthcare Cost Report Information System as the main data source. Users can view the data at the hospital, state, and health-system levels.

“The need for purchasers and policymakers to have a detailed view of hospital revenue, costs, and margins is vital as hospital costs remain top of mind,” said Evelyn Li, senior researcher at Mathematica. “The HCT 3.0 provides comprehensive and up-to-date views of these metrics, which can inform where hospitals are spending their money and how their resource allocations change over time. Such information is particularly valuable given rising operational costs for hospitals, which we’ll provide an updated study on later this year.”

“With new data in the tool, purchasers of health care, which include a variety of state programs and employers, can better understand individual hospitals’ expense and revenue trends over time,” said Maureen Hensley-Quinn, senior program director at NASHP. “These insights position purchasers to have more informed discussions with providers and policymakers to support their goals for increased consumer affordability. For example, some users of the tool have explored moving their reimbursement to hospitals for patient services from a discount on charges to one that covers costs, plus a profit.”

Discover more about HCT 3.0 and Mathematica’s partnership with states to help control hospital operational costs and health care costs through tools such as the HCT, advanced analytics, subject matter expertise, and complex systems management.