Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Fight to cut health costs depends on states

Courtesy of Health Policy Solutions
States have significant power to cut health care costs and they should use it, a commission co-chaired by former Gov. Bill Ritter declared on Wednesday.
The Miller Center at the University of Virginiaunveiled the group’s report, Cracking the Code on Health Care Costs, at the National Press Club in Washington.
The bipartisan members of the State Health Care Cost Containment Commission pressed states to reverse unsustainable growth in health costs that threaten to strangle the U.S. economy.
Back in 1960, the average person paid $147 a year for health care. By 2011, that figure had shot up to $8,860 per person. While growth has slowed over the last four years, the commissioners predicted that unchecked increases could push per-person spending to $14,103 per year by 2021.
Health spending also forces cuts in other areas. As Colorado’s legislature opened its 2014 session today, the Colorado Health Institute released a primer for the new session that shows Medicaid spending alone is gobbling up one-third of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s 2014-15 proposed budget.
The commission’s recommendations include:
  • Making health spending cuts a state priority and setting specific goals,
  • Switching from fee-for-service payments to those that reward keeping patients healthy,
  • Encouraging state insurance commissioners to use their power to review and reject high insurance rates,
  • Tapping the power of data,
  • Allowing nurses and other lower-cost providers more freedom to practice at their skill levels,
  • Driving down health costs for Medicaid recipients and state employees who often are the largest pool of employees in a state,
  • Promoting wellness programs, healthier communities and more sophisticated shopping among health consumers.
By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon

For the rest of the story, go to Health Policy Solutions.

1 comment:

  1. Lower cost providers should only practice if their methods are of proven value, as established by data.
    Chiropractors, acupuncturists and naturopaths all think their sham medical training qualifies them to provide primary care. Their lack of competence will delay proper care and frivolous remedies cost us all in the long run.