HEALTH AFFAIRS BLOG:
"As policymakers consider actions to address challenges with the Affordable Care Act and ongoing growth in health spending, the importance of understanding local health care market dynamics is more important than ever. Traditionally, policy makers and other stakeholders have evaluated commercial health care markets' total spending and often attributed high spending to high prices. However, there are numerous factors that influence spending including price, utilization, and the type and amount of services used. The Healthy Marketplace Index (HMI) is a new tool that offers insights into the economic performance of health care markets at the local level. Better understanding of the drivers of health spending and variation across communities is beneficial for evaluating and crafting appropriate health policy responses targeting issues of market regulation and spending growth."