What states can do to control rising health care costs

As open enrollment season for health insurance plans approaches or is already underway, we are seeing significant increases in premiums across the country. From 2010 to 2022, the premium is for family insurance increased by more than 63 percent average increase of more than 700 USD per year. In a survey, employers predicted increase insurance premiums by 7% for 2024.

The increase in premiums is part of a larger trend of rapidly rising health care costs, making health care increasingly difficult for consumers and burdening employers. and government. Commonwealth Fund Report 2022 found that 46% of working-age adults in the US have skipped or delayed needed care because of cost, and 42% said they have had problems paying their medical bills or are paying them off medical debt. Never had it recently decreased lifespan in America will only be exacerbated by lack of access to affordable care. High health care costs are a crisis.

Our states, Connecticut and Washington, are among a growing number of states working to control health care costs. Even though we are on opposite coasts, we see the same trends, the same problems and the same consequences.

We are working on a range of solutions to the health care cost crisis, including setting annual cost growth targets to hold health care providers accountable for increased health care spending. In each of our states, we have worked with insurance companies, hospitals and other health providers, employers, unions and consumer groups to set goals how much total statewide health care spending will increase each year. With healthcare costs increasingly eating into household budgets, this target is closely tied to people’s expected income growth.

Each year, we collect data from public and private health programs detailing where our health care dollars go. We then compare spend across plans and providers to see how they’re performing against benchmarks.

The transparency that comes with cost growth targets is having an impact. Massachusetts, the first state to try this approach, has shown that it can influence contract negotiations between payers and providers, leading to better deals for consumers.

But setting goals and reporting progress is not enough. When we measure actual performance against our goals, we are creating an information foundation for strategies to improve health care affordability.

When we break down health care costs, it becomes clear what is driving increased spending and where our collective efforts need to be focused. We recognize that this process brings everyone to the negotiating table and helps steer our health care system toward affordability.

For example, in each of our states, our analyzes consider hospital and prescription drug spending as key drivers, so we are exploring ways we can reduce cost growth there. Both of our states participated ArrayRx, a prescription drug coalition working to get better prescription drug prices. Connecticut releases first cost growth benchmark report that led to passage of law to increase oversight of pharmaceutical marketing and improve transparency on high-cost drug price increases to help slow growth costs in that area.

Cost growth targets are flexible so that states can respond to changing circumstances such as public health or economic crises that may affect health care spending. We regularly review our cost growth targets to ensure that they take into account any significant changes across the state.

A growing number of states are turning to cost growth targets to guide solutions to the health care affordability crisis. To date, eight states have set cost growth targets, meaning 1 in 5 Americans live in a state with such a mechanism. Other states, including Maine and Utah, are exploring the idea.

We cannot continue to pay more for health care; We need to slow cost growth so everyone can access better health care. It’s time for states to take the lead, and targeting health care cost growth is an option worth exploring.

Susan E. Birch is director of the Washington State Health Care Agency. Deidre Gifford is executive director of Connecticut’s Office of Health Strategy.

manageOpinion columns reflect the views of the author and not necessarily the views of manageeditor or manager.

#states #control #rising #health #care #costs
Image Source : www.governing.com

Leave a Comment