Health Care Spending in Youngstown Metro Is Below National Median

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Spending on health care in the Youngstown Warren statistical metropolitan area is 6% below the median on a set of common medical services across 124 U.S. metro areas, according to a by the Health Care Cost Institute.

Researchers at HCCI, an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research institute based in Washington, D.C,, analyzed the drivers of local health care spending using data from employer-sponsored insurance claims between 2013 and 2017, when about 52% of all Ohio adults had this kind of health insurance. Compared with similar metro areas, local prices for medical services in Youngstown ranked 18% below the national median in 2017. 

“When talking about the cost of health care in Youngstown, it’s important to have all the facts,” said the president and CEO of the Health Care Cost Institute, Niall Brennan, in releasing the report. “Health care spending is rising almost everywhere, but the way in which it is rising depends on where you look. Is health care spending in the Youngstown area being driven by hospitals, outpatient care, physicians or all three? The Healthy Marketplace Index is a major step forward in making information about local area health care spending more simple and transparent.”

While Youngstown residents with job-based health insurance spent 6% below the national median in 2017, the use of health care services was 7% above the national median, a factor of the region’s aging population. Spending levels in the Youngstown metro area were driven by prices that were 18% below the national median, the HCCI report found.

Per-person spending on medical services varied across metro areas from a low of 45% below the national median in Riverside, Calif., to a high of 42% above the median in Longview, Texas. However, most metro areas (58%) had spending within 10% of the national median, the report found.

Researchers also broke down spending, price, and use trends for different categories of medical services: inpatient, outpatient, and professional (clinician). Taken together, the data can illustrate the big picture of health costs across the nation.

The full Youngstown Health Spending Snapshot, click here, reveals that inpatient spending was 5% below the national median in 2017. Outpatient spending is 15% above the median while spending on professional services was 14% below the national median.

For the first time, the Healthy Marketplace Index allows users to compare these key metrics within and across multiple U.S. metro areas. To read all of this year’s Healthy Marketplace Index reports, click here.

“The Healthy Marketplace Index is a powerful tool because it provides geographical detail about major health care cost drivers in a way that permits local stakeholders to see how their market compares to others,” said Katherine Hempstead, senior policy adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which supports the annual project.

HCCI’s Healthy Marketplace Index presents interactive visualizations and extensive data on health costs and includes a wide range of open-access data on topics ranging from service utilization to hospital market concentration. The Index is intended for use by the public, policymakers, researchers, and journalists. It has been a finalist for multiple digital media honors, including the 2019 Information is Beautiful Award and the 2019 National Institute for Health Care Management Digital Media Award.
SOURCE: Health Care Cost Institute

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.