The Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker provides clear, up-to-date information on trends, drivers and issues that impact the performance of the system. It also illustrates how the U.S. is performing relative to other countries and how different parts of the system are performing relative to one another. A partnership of the Peterson Center on Healthcare and the KFF, the Tracker’s work goal places a heavy emphasis on data and evidence, addressing key questions through collections of charts, which provide data with additional context and synthesis of the latest research and developments. The Tracker also provide regular insight briefs for a more in-depth look at topical questions.

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Vaccines Are Free. Covid Care Is Not. Who Should Pay?

In this commentary for Barron’s, Cynthia Cox explores the impact to the American public as the U.S. health insurance system adjusts to the COVID-19 pandemic. She uses the experience of the past year and a half to raise questions about broader issues of fairness in the distribution of health care costs in the country.

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Preventable Costs of Unvaccinated COVID-19 Patients Rise Sharply in August as Hospitalizations Surge

A surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations among people who have not been vaccinated in August is adding billions of dollars in preventable costs to the nation’s health-care system, an updated KFF analysis finds. In August, the new analysis estimates that the preventable costs of treating unvaccinated patients in  hospitals total $3.7…

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Unvaccinated COVID patients cost the U.S. health system billions of dollars

This updated analysis for the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker estimates that the preventable costs of treating unvaccinated patients in hospitals total $3.7 billion in August, almost twice the estimates for June and July combined. The three-month total now stand at an estimated $5.7 billion.

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COVID-19 continues to be a leading cause of death in the U.S. in August 2021

With the rapid uptake in vaccinations in recent months, COVID-19 deaths have fallen sharply. COVID-19 is now the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. This updated analysis looks at the pandemic’s effect on mortality rates.

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Most private insurers are no longer waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment

This analysis finds nearly three quarters of the largest health plans in each state are no longer waiving enrollees’ cost-sharing requirements for COVID-19 treatment as of August 2021. Insurers largely waived those costs early in the pandemic, before safe and effetive vaccines were available.

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Early 2021 Data Show No Rebound in Health Care Utilization

This analysis finds hospital admissions remained below expected levels in early 2021, suggesting much of the care people put off during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic may have been forgone altogether.

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Most Insurers Participating in the Marketplaces Don’t Expect COVID to Affect Their 2022 Costs

After a tumultuous year of unpredictable COVID-19 changes to utilization and spending, a review of early rate filings for individual market insurers participating in the Affordable Care Act Marketplace finds that most are expecting a return to normal in 2022 without the pandemic playing a large role. The review of…

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Poll: Few are Aware of Hospital Price Transparency Requirements

Few Americans realize that starting this year hospitals are required to post prices of common health services on their websites in a format patients can access and use, data from the KFF Health Tracking poll shows. Federal regulations that took effect January 1 require this price transparency for hospitals to…

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Few Adults Are Aware of Hospital Price Transparency Requirements

This data note for the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker shows that few Americans realize that starting this year hospitals are required to post prices of common health services on their websites in a format patients can access and use.

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Analysis: Half of Emergency Ambulance Rides Lead to Out-of-Network Bills for Privately Insured Patients

About half of emergency ground ambulance rides result in an out-of-network charge for people with private health insurance, potentially leaving patients at risk of getting a surprise bill, a new KFF analysis for the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker finds. Congress last year enacted the “No Surprises Act,” which prohibits most…

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