Same services more expensive in outpatient than office settings

(HealthDay)—The same services are more expensive when performed in outpatient versus office settings, according to a blog post from the Health Care Cost Institute.

John Hargraves, M.P.P., and Julie Reiff, from the Health Care Cost Institute in Washington, D.C., examined the utilization and average price paid for a set of services commonly performed in physician office and outpatient settings from 2009 to 2017.

The authors note that there was an increase in the share of these services performed in the outpatient setting from 2009 to 2017, from 11.1 to 12.9 percent. The shift varied considerably by service, with larger increases for echocardiograms and drug administration, for example, and little change in other services. For level 3 diagnostic and screening ultrasound visits, there was an increase from 20.9 to 25.2 percent in the share performed in the outpatient setting; level 5 drug administration visits occurring in the outpatient setting increased from 23.4 to 45.9 percent.

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