Determinants of Spending Variation: The Roles of Price, Service Use, and Market Conditions in Texas

Virtually all the research to date on health care cost variations within the United States has focused solely on Medicare. This project will examine what drives trends and geographic variation in spending, prices, and use for the diverse populations covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX), the state’s largest commercial insurer, and by Medicare. The study will seek answers to why BCBSTX spending on health care is higher in some parts of Texas than in others, what drives changes in spending over time, and how the factors that drive spending trends and variation compare between BCBSTX and Medicare. This work should help build the analytic capacity for understanding the behavior of health care markets in Texas, while also informing policy efforts to reduce spending throughout the U.S. health system.

Grant Details

Grantee Organization:
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Principal Investigator:
Luisa Franzini, Ph.D.
Award Amount:
Approval Date:
November 13, 2012

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