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Harvard Proposal Calls for Limits on Health-Care Price Hikes

March 10, 2020, 4:01 AM

Doctors and hospitals would no longer be able to charge exceptionally high billing rates under a proposal by Harvard University health policy and business professors.

The proposal, issued Tuesday, calls on regulators to limit annual price increases for medical services—both in and out of patients’ insurance networks—to no more than 1%-2% above general inflation, measured by a benchmark such as the Consumer Price Index.

The Harvard paper, being presented at a Brookings Institution forum on lowering health-care costs, goes beyond limiting surprise bills to patients for out-of-network charges. It reflects a growing belief that health-care prices, which have increased...

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