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What Will It Take to Get Rid of Waste in Health Care?

Posted By Louise Probst, Wednesday, September 5, 2018
In 2012, a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine, predicted the cost of family health insurance premiums to consume half of household income, on average, by 2021 and exceed it by 2033, if spending trends continue. It is hard to imagine that this could be possible, and yet, prices for health care services have increased steeply since the study was published.
 
The Midwest Health Initiative's (MHI) 2018 Scorecard of Health Stats for St. Louis Commercial Populations finds that medical spending per commercially-insured person grew by 29% since 2014 alone. The rate of people spending more than $500,000 annually grew by 186%. These increases seem to be driven more by higher prices than higher utilization.
 
The good news is that most health care insiders believe that 30% to 40% of services are "waste," meaning that they provide little or no clinical value. As a result, there is ample opportunity to lower costs without compromising patient care. Repeated research shows that, when care is evidence-based and effectively managed, patients can achieve better outcomes with fewer hospitalizations, tests, and treatments.
 
Removing wasteful spending through the public, employer, and provider lens is the focus of BHC's 2018 Annual Meeting, with the theme of Minimizing Waste, Maximizing Affordability: Standing Together for High-Value Health Care.
 
Frederick Isasi, CEO of Families USA, will deliver his call to action to the public and all health care stakeholders: make care affordable. Dr. Mark Fendrick, founder of the Center for Value-based Insurance Design (V-BID), will share the latest thinking on crafting employee benefits for higher value health care. As the co-developer of the Milliman Waste Calculator, he will share top areas of wasteful spending in St. Louis. Findings will come from the MHI database of 1.6 million commercially-insured people. At the event, there will also be a panel of local health care providers who will share their vision for better care value and the ways community partners can support one another in realizing this goal. We hope to see you there! Please click here to register.

 

Warm regards,

Louise Probst
BHC Executive Director

 

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