Well being Coverage Fee sticks with benchmark
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
WITH CONSUMERS experiencing increased well being care outlays and a few laying aside care due to it, a state fee on Wednesday caught with the annual state well being care price progress benchmark, which is a goal fairly than a binding cap on worth or spending escalation.
The Well being Coverage Fee voted to maintain the 2024 benchmark at 3.6 p.c. The choice adopted proceedings throughout which employers cited affordability considerations and suppliers aired worries about funds and backside strains, workforce constraints, and well being care entry.
Fee chair Deborah Devaux stated at a gathering Wednesday that she didn’t see the worth in rising the benchmark given affordability challenges and acknowledged “crucial consideration” across the thought of decreasing the benchmark to place extra stress on price management.
“I’m discovering it troublesome to justify doing that at a time after we are seeing totally different knowledge factors in 2022, about what’s taking place with the pressures on supply of care,” Devaux stated. “I feel 2023 shall be an vital yr for us to know how that stabilizes.”
The fee voted after a presentation that confirmed hospitals within the fourth quarter gave the impression to be recovering from damaging margins earlier in 2022.
The HPC and its allies have up to now been unable to persuade the Legislature for extra authority to function a extra forceful verify on rising well being care prices and complement its strategy to serving to to make sure prices keep according to benchmarks which might be tied to potential gross state product.
Over the past 9 years, complete well being care expenditures have grown by a median of three.52 p.c per yr, HPC Govt Director David Seltz stated.
The fee’s vote enabled it to beat its April 15 statutory deadline to set a benchmark by two days. A two-thirds vote is required to switch the benchmark.
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