Research Grants

Funding For:

The Impact of Reference Pricing on Hospital-Insurer Bargaining

Cost & Quality


Christopher Whaley, RAND Corporation

Grant Period:

Jan 01, 2018 - Jan 01, 2020



Summary of the Project:

Building on prior work by this team showing that patients respond to reference pricing by seeking care from lower-priced providers, this study will investigate whether these demand shifts impact the process and outcomes of price negotiations between hospitals and insurers. Empirical game theory will be used to model the negotiating process and those results will be used to estimate the price outcomes of alternative specifications of reference pricing and other consumer-driven strategies such as high deductibles and narrow networks. Findings will add information about how innovative benefit designs stressing consumer incentives could also spur provider price competition.

Media Coverage

August 21, 2021

Understanding the distributional impacts of health insurance reform: Evidence from a consumer cost-sharing program

Learn More

Author: Aouad M, Brown TT, Whaley CM

September 01, 2018

"Firm responses to targeted consumer incentives: Evidence from reference pricing for surgical services"

Learn More

Author: Whaley CM, Brown TT, Journal of Health Economics

March 05, 2018

"Consumer Responses to Price Transparency Alone Versus Price Transparency Combined with Reference Pricing"

Learn More

Author: Whaley C, Brown T, Robinson J, American Journal of Health Economics