Yale Associate Professor of Public Health and of Economics Zack Cooper, along with Stuart V. Craig, Martin Gaynor, and John Van Reenen are the recipients of this year’s 25th Annual National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation (NIHCM) Research Award. Established in 1993, the NIHCM Research Award recognizes outstanding published work from researchers furthering innovation in health care financing, delivery and organization or the implementation of health care policy.
Cooper and his coauthors won the award for their paper, “The Price Ain’t Right? Hospital Prices and Health Spending on the Privately Insured,” published in the September 2018 issue of The Quarterly Journal of Economics. The paper used private insurance claims to study the variation in health spending and the pricing of hospital services in the United States, finding that hospital prices increased significantly when merging hospitals were geographically close, and that hospitals in concentrated markets had higher prices and were able to negotiate more favorable contractual terms with insurers.
According to the official NIHCM announcement, the independent panel of experts who chose the winning entries were “impressed with the national reach of this work and its impact in transforming perceptions and raising public policy questions regarding antitrust enforcement.”
“Over the last 25 years our Research Award finalists have generated tremendously important insights around challenges and solutions in our health care system, and this year was no exception,” said NIHCM CEO Nancy Chockley.
The winners and finalists will be honored at a banquet in Washington, D.C. in May, and the winners will each receive a $20,000 cash prize.