States Launching Initiatives To Curb Health Costs Amid ACA Work
While states work to roll out various provisions of the Affordable Care Act in preparation of the full implementation of the law next year, some of them also are experimenting with innovative initiatives to address rising health care costs, the AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
According to CMS estimates, annual health care spending per person is expected to increase from $8,700 in 2011 to about $14,000 in 2021. The higher costs could mean increased spending for businesses, which are shifting a larger share of costs to workers, who would eventually experience higher out-of-pocket costs, the AP/Journal-Constitution reports.
States Experiment With Cost-Control Strategies
Many of the innovative and experimental strategies to rein in health care costs have been driven by officials and private organizations, the AP/Journal-Constitution reports.
For example, some hospitals in New Jersey have reported success with a Medicare program that rewards physicians who have helped rein in costs for their hospitals via shorter hospital stays without raising readmissions and mortality rates.
Meanwhile, officials in Oregon have implemented a unique model of delivering care through Medicaid via "coordinated care organizations," which seek to integrate mental, physical and dental care. Participating organizations are required to manage their costs within a fixed rate of growth, according to the AP/Journal-Constitution.
In Massachusetts, a cost-control law, enacted in 2012, attempts to ensure that health spending does not increase faster than the state's economy, in part by expanding the role of physician assistants and nurse practitioners who would be able to serve as primary care physicians. This strategy allows patients to access care outside an emergency department (Cooper, AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 8/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.