July 24, 2013

NOW USE THE MANDATE TO MAKE HIGH-DEDUCTIBLE PLANS UNIVERSAL:

Why Medical Spending May Finally Flatten Out (JOHN F. WASIK, 7/24/13, The Fiscal Times)

[T]here are several positive signs that health costs are ramping down from average 6-percent growth recorded in the previous decade. A recent report by PwC, an international consultant and auditor, forecasts that medical inflation is projected to drop in 2014. The PwC report outlines some reasons for optimism:

"Individual consumers, bearing more financial responsibility for their medical bills, are questioning and sometimes delaying procedures, imaging, and elective services. New delivery models, such as accountable care organizations (ACOs) are promising, but their prospects for significant savings remain largely unproven. The ACA will also play a role in the slowdown in 2014, with hospitals working to hold down expensive readmissions (or face the law's penalties) and employers being given greater power to influence employee behavior through increased or discounted premiums -- up to 50 percent in some cases." [...]

Here are some other notable cost-savings trends:

Care is increasingly being provided in non-traditional settings. Major pharmacy chains and discount stores such as Walgreens, CVS and Target have in-store clinics. These "doc in a box" facilities offer basic care at lower prices.

Employers are offering more high-deductible plans. In an effort to lower premiums, higher out-of-pocket costs make patients more aware of what they're spending. Some 17 percent of employers surveyed by PwC now offer the plans and more than 44 percent are considering them.

Companies are also experimenting with incentives. Some employees may qualify for lower out-of-pocket costs if they enroll in chronic-care or wellness programs. Those who make an effort to take care of themselves may see lower premiums.



Enhanced by Zemanta

Posted by at July 24, 2013 5:23 AM
  

blog comments powered by Disqus
« LOOK FOR MORE SUCH: | Main | JUST ANOTHER COMMODITY: »