Medical costs are going up; we have to cut our insurance

Some catching up on health care reform progress makes sense as we keep in mind these posts from Beat the Press Dean Baker writes:

Second, the story of massive huge future budget deficits has little to do with aging. It is a story of a broken private health care system. If the United States paid the same amount per person for health care as any other wealthy country we would be looking at huge budget surpluses, not deficits. Of course we can’t lower our costs because of the enormous power of the health care industry.

The big deal in national planning and in recent MA statements by planners, Gov. Patrick, and others is the ‘global payment method’ (of which there are many proposals of programs) to replace fee for service billing. Somehow a global payment system determined by a standard treatment sequence will cut an estimated amount of duplication and excess testing among a list of things. Estimates range from 4% to 14% ‘savings’ through a mechanism jointly approved by the Blue Cross insurers and hospital association is to accomplish this in MA, but no proposals are very concrete from my survey of MA articles. Michael Halasy will hopefully write more on this topic from the inside.

Pay for Performance Summit will happen in March where the many proposals of ‘global payments’ will be discussed among many items.

Lifted from comments on an Angry Bear post:

…the little observed fact that cutting Medicare will not cut your medical costs…just put you in the private market. It seems a little stupid to be running around saying “medical costs are going up; we have to cut our insurance.”

No one is using this model? Vermont will be worth watching.

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