POLITICS 04/20/2018 05:46 am ET Price controls are getting a serious look in California. By Jonathan Cohn If you think the country needs dramatic, even radical action to stop medical care from getting so expensive, pay close attention to what’s happening in California. Next week, a committee in the state Assembly will vote on legislation to create a permanent, nine-member commission on health care costs, quality and access. But instead of simply proposing different ways of paying for medical care, like so many other commissions have over the years, this one would have real power ― the power to set legally binding limits on what hospitals, drugmakers and the rest of the health care industry can charge private insurers and individuals. The bill could bring government control of health care spending to the biggest state in the country, and it might not stop there. Government control of health care spending, in one form or another, is an essential … [Read more...] about The Big New Idea For Reducing Health Care Costs Is Actually Really Old
Health care costs by state
Medicaid, the nation’s joint federal-state health insurance program for the poor, is often described as providing a safety net — something to save the neediest people from disaster. But, as health insurance costs spiral rapidly upward, Colorado lawmakers and health care advocates increasingly say that it is the entire state that is facing a crisis. So, some of them are now proposing a radical, potentially first-in-the-nation idea: Why not let anyone buy their way into Medicaid, regardless of income? A bill introduced Friday at the state Capitol would instruct several Colorado departments to study the feasibility of that idea, as well as the possibility of creating new public-private partnerships or co-operative health insurance programs. The bill’s sponsors say these would be pro-active measures, as opposed to previous reactive solutions that have tried to smooth the zigs and zags of federal health care policy. “This is saying, ‘How do we lead on this? How … [Read more...] about To combat rising health care costs, should Colorado let people buy into Medicaid?
In 2012 Massachusetts adopted the most recent in a series of comprehensive legislative approaches to health care reform, Chapter 224 of the Acts of 2012 (Chapter 224), which focused especially on addressing the drivers of health care costs in the Commonwealth. A key element of this legislation was creation of the Health Policy Commission (HPC), to which Chapter 224 gave a broad portfolio of responsibilities, including reviewing material changes in corporate and clinical affiliations, registering provider organizations, certifying (non-CMS) accountable care organizations (ACOs) and patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs), and promoting alternative payment methods (APMs) and innovations in health care delivery.In implementing its responsibilities, Chapter 224 charged the HPC with conducting annual health care cost growth hearings and the preparation of an annual report based on those hearings; and with monitoring a benchmark of aggregate health care cost growth in Massachusetts that … [Read more...] about Thirteen Ways to Contain Health Care Costs in Massachusetts: Health Policy Commission Issues 2015 Report and Recommendations
Massachusetts continues to be at the national forefront of health care reform. Since becoming the first state in the nation to expand access aimed at universal health care coverage through Chapter 58 of the Acts of 2006, Massachusetts has continued to address legislative and regulatory challenges in the health care industry. The current legislative session’s policy focus has been health care payment reform, and the Massachusetts Senate, House of Representatives and governor have each proposed their own unique approach to transition the market away from fee-for-service and to contain cost growth.The Senate BillOn May 9, 2012, the Massachusetts Senate released Senate Bill 2260, “An Act Improving the Quality of Health Care and Reducing Costs through Increased Transparency, Efficiency and Innovation.” The bill proposes to reduce state health care costs over the next 15 years by $150 billion.Highlights of the Senate Billestablishes a quasi-public authority that assists in … [Read more...] about Massachusetts Releases Health Care Cost Containment Legislation
Earlier this week, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Altarum Institute’s Center for Sustainable Health Spending published an analysis of the recent slowdown in health care spending. The study asserts that macroeconomic conditions are the most important factor in determining systematic health care costs. The analysis concludes that the modest increases in health care spending over the last several years will likely be replaced with higher, more “normal” rates of growth as economic conditions improve. Greater increases in health spending will in turn lead to continued pressure to contain costs. Since the ACA’s enactment, health care costs have increased at a much reduced rate as compared to the previous several decades. According to CMS , in 2011 health spending in the U.S. grew 3.9% and was 17.9% of GDP (the same proportion of GDP as in 2009 and 2010). The rate of growth for … [Read more...] about Despite the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Cost-Saving Measures, Modest Increases in Health Care Costs Unlikely to Continue