DE – State Launches Effort to Limit Growth in Health Care Spending
September 2017 ~
Delaware recently passed a legislation that will grant authority to the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) to establish a health care spending benchmark with a growth rate linked to the overall economy of the state. State officials believe a benchmark rate will help reduce health care costs while providing better care for residents. A benchmark rate would cap overall health spending growth.
Delaware currently ranks third in the country for how much it spends on health care per capita but is still considered one of the more sicker states due to the percentage of people with chronic conditions.
At this time, the growth rate is on track to be about 6%, said Delaware Health and Social Services Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker. The benchmark could reduce the rate to be anywhere between 2% to 5%.
The state will work with hospitals, insurers, and providers to figure out the best way to determine and implement the benchmark. In doing so, officials say some of the money currently reserved for health care costs in the state budget could be allotted toward needed improvements in areas such as education, economic development, and public safety.
Delaware state officials are hopeful that the benchmark will change the model of paying for the amount of services to paying for the quality of services.