Differences across payors in charges for agency-based home health services: Evidence from the National Home and Hospice Care Survey

A study investigates charge and payment differentials for home health services across different payors. The average charge for a Medicare home health visit is compared to the average charge for patients with other sources of payment. In making such comparisons, differences across payors in service mix and agency characteristics are controlled. Findings imply the potential existence of payment differentials across payors for home health services, with Medicare and privately insured patients likely to by paying more than others for similar services. Such conclusions raise the possibility that, as in other segments of the healthcare market, cost-shifting and price discrimination might exist within the home health industry.