Marginal Cost Pricing | Online Assignment Help

University Hospital is a regional leader in the very intense and medically sophisticated area of organ transplants. Mark Lewis, the director of the Transplant Center, has been with the Hospital for ten years. When Mark joined the hospital, he was put in charge of a kidney and heart transplant program that averaged 50 transplants per year. Today, the Transplant Center performs over 200 transplants annually, including transplants from the newly initiated liver, lung, and pancreas programs.

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Assignment on
Marginal Cost Pricing | Online Assignment Help
Just from $13/Page
Order Now

The liver transplant program is the most successful of all organ programs in terms of volume and revenues. Last year, volume totaled 100 transplants, and this year Mark is optimistic that the liver program can do even better. However, he knows that increased volume is largely dependent on the number of organ donors and his success in negotiating a new contract with the Transplant Management Corporation (TMC), the largest transplant-benefits company in the nation.

Because transplants are relatively rare in comparison with other, more conventional medical treatments, only the largest health insurers have the expertise to manage transplant services. However, the costs to insurers for transplant services are typically very large—usually in the six-to-seven-figure range. To ensure the best and most cost-effective management of transplant services, most health insurers outsource transplant management to companies, such as TMC, that specialize in these services.

Contracting for transplant services is unique and complex because of the sophistication of the medical procedures involved. Transplant services consist of five phases: (1) patient evaluation, (2) patient care while awaiting surgery, (3) organ procurement, (4) surgery and the attendant inpatient stay, and (5) one year of follow-up visits. The costs involved in Phase 1 are relatively simple to estimate, but the remaining phases can be extremely variable in terms of resource utilization, and hence costs, because of differences in patient acuity and surgical outcomes.

Historically, reimbursement for transplant services has been handled in a number of different ways. Initially, many providers bundled all five phases together and offered insurers a single, global rate. Although this method simplified the contracting process, the rate set was often chosen more on the basis of building market share than on covering costs. Indeed, many providers could not even estimate with any confidence the true costs of providing transplant services.

Somewhat ironically, success in gaining market share usually increases the financial risk of the transplant program because higher volumes increase the likelihood of higher acuity patients. Although the total costs associated with all phases of a liver transplant average about $400,000, the amount can more than quadruple if the patient requires a re-transplant or if other complications occur. Because of this extreme variability in costs, outlier protection is a critical aspect of contract negotiations if the reimbursement methodology is a fixed prospective rate.

So far, several elements of the proposed contract with TMC have been finalized. Phases 1, 2, and 5 will be reimbursed at a set discount from charges. Furthermore, to reduce the amount of financial risk borne by University Hospital, Phase 3 (organ procurement) will be reimbursed on a cost basis. This makes sense because the cost of Phase 3 is almost completely uncontrollable by the Center. In general, Phase 4 costs are divided into two categories: hospital costs and physician costs. Physician costs have already been agreed on, so what needs to be hammered out (and the make-or-break part of the contract) is the hospital reimbursement amount for Phase 4.

The key to a sound negotiation with TMC is to identify relevant costs. Mark plans to be aggressive in pricing these services, because he wants the contract. He feels that the additional volume will lower per-transplant cost and hence increase the Center’s profitability. Still, he wants to set a price that does not degrade the current profitability of the Center, which is good but not spectacular.

To help with the decision, Mark compiled the Phase 4 hospital costs of 12 recent liver transplant patients. In reviewing these data, shown in Table 1, Mark noted that a total average cost of $119,805 for 19 days’ average length of stay (LOS) translates to a staggering per diem (per day) average cost of over $6,000.

Mark is convinced that a price close to $120,000, which would cover total costs, would not be acceptable to TMC. So, he examined the possibility of lowering costs by reducing the average LOS. However, the costs associated with Phase 4 are not a linear function of LOS. The first day of Phase 4 is usually the most costly, whereas the last day is usually the least costly. Indeed, over half of Phase 4 costs occur in the first 24 hours of hospitalization.

Because it would be difficult to lower Phase 4 hospital costs by reducing LOS, Mark decided to pursue a different strategy. His experience at the Transplant Center has convinced him that there are economies of scale present in liver transplants, and hence the marginal cost of each transplant is lower than the average cost. Thus, Mark believes that he can base the contract price on marginal costs rather than total (full) costs. Such a rate would (hopefully) be attractive to TMC yet, at the same time, preserve the Center’s profitability.

Assume that you have been hired as a consultant to recommend a fixed price (the base rate) that should be proposed in the contract negotiations for Phase 4 hospital services. To help in the analysis, Mark has indicated that approximately 60 percent of nursing, ancillary, operating room, and laboratory costs are fixed. The remaining costs—radiology, drug, and other services—are predominantly variable. See Excel spreadsheet for Phase 4 Hospital Costs.


1. What is the estimate of the marginal cost of the Phase 4 hospital services, given the case assumption that 60 percent of the designated costs are fixed and the remaining costs are variable?

2. Assume that the agreed-upon price is $90,000. What is the expected profit on the contract assuming that it brings in 20 new patients? (Assume for now that no new fixed costs would be required.)

3. Now assume that the additional patients will add $200,000 in total to the Center’s fixed costs. Now what is the expected profit on 20 new patients? On 40 new patients? (No new fixed costs are required to support the second group of 20 patients.)

4. What role do the following factors play in the decision regarding whether to use marginal cost pricing on the new contract?

a. Reimbursement amounts paid by current transplant third-party payers

b. The amount of excess capacity in the transplant unit

5. What is your final recommendation regarding the base rate for Phase 4 hospital services that should be built into the contract?

Calculate your paper price
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Why Choose Us

Quality Papers

At Myhomeworkwriters.com, we always aim at 100% customer satisfaction. As such, we never compromise o the quality of our homework services. Our homework helpers ensure that they craft each paper carefully to match the requirements of the instruction form.

Professional Academic Writers

With Myhomeworkwriters.com, every student is guaranteed high-quality, professionally written papers. We ensure that we hire individuals with high academic qualifications who can maintain our quality policy. These writers undergo further training to sharpen their writing skills, making them more competent in writing academic papers.

Affordable Prices

Our company maintains a fair pricing system for all academic writing services to ensure affordability. Our pricing system generates quotations based on the properties of individual papers.

On-Time delivery

My Homework Writers guarantees all students of swift delivery of papers. We understand that time is an essential factor in the academic world. Therefore, we ensure that we deliver the paper on or before the agreed date to give students ample time for reviewing.

100% Originality

Myhomeworkwriters.com maintains a zero-plagiarism policy in all papers. As such, My Homework Writers professional academic writers ensure that they use the students’ instructions to deliver plagiarism-free papers. We are very keen on avoiding any chance of similarities with previous papers.

Customer Support 24/7

Our customer support works around the clock to provide students with assistance or guidance at any time of the day. Students can always communicate with us through our live chat system or our email and receive instant responses. Feel free to contact us via the Chat window or support email: support@myhomeworkwriters.com.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

You will get a personal manager and a discount.
We'll send you the first draft for approval by at
Total price:

How it works?

Follow these simple steps to get your paper done

Place your order

Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.

Proceed with the payment

Choose the payment system that suits you most.

Receive the final file

Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Homework Writing Services

My Homework Writers holds a reputation for being a platform that provides high-quality homework writing services. All you need to do is provide us with all the necessary requirements of the paper and wait for quality results.


Essay Writing Services

At My Homework Writers, we have highly qualified academic gurus who will offer great assistance towards completing your essays. Our homework writing service providers are well-versed with all the aspects of developing high-quality and relevant essays.


Admission and Business Papers

With Myhomeworkwriters.com, we will help you secure a position at your desired institution. Our essay writing services include the crafting of admissions papers. We will still help you climb your career ladder by helping you write the official papers that will help you secure a job. We will guide you on how to write an outstanding portfolio or resume.


Editing and Proofreading

Myhomeworkwriters.com has a professional editorial team that will help you organize your paper, paraphrase it, and eliminate any possible mistakes. Also, we will help you check on plagiarism to ensure that your final paper posses quality and originality.


Technical papers

My Homework Writers harbors professional academic writers from diverse academic disciplines. As such, we can develop homework writing services in all academic areas. The simplicity or complexity of the paper does not affect the quality of homework writing services.