Dive Brief: Higher prices, outpatient services and mental health and substance use admissions drove average annual healthcare spending for people with employer-sponsored health insurance to a new high of more than $5,600 in 2017, the Health Care Cost Institute reported in a new study. HCCI said per-person healthcare spending increased by 4.2% in 2017 to $5,641. Outpatient services saw the most significant spending growth (5.1%). Mental health and substance use admissions increased by 18% between 2013 and 2017. Dive Insight: The report echos other recent findings of higher healthcare costs despite lower use overall. Healthcare spending growth exceeded 4% for the second straight year, according to HCCI. That’s higher than the per-capita GDP growth. HCCI analyzed professional services, inpatient spending, outpatient spending and prescription drugs. Average spending per patient in 2017 was: professional services ($1,898 or 33.6% of costs), inpatient ($1,097 or 19.5%), … [Read more...] about Prices — not use — drive higher healthcare costs, HCCI says
Rising healthcare costs
Hospitals in Colorado Springs and across the state took in billions of dollars while saddling insurers with more costs, likely causing insurance prices to rise ever higher, a draft report by state health policy officials says.The findings, prepared for the Colorado Healthcare Affordability & Sustainability Enterprise, raise new questions about hospitals’ spending practices amid a boom in hospital construction across the state. And they mark the first swing in the brewing fight between state health policy officials and hospital systems, which account for the largest share of health care spending in Colorado.The issue appears most acute along the northern Front Range — Boulder, Fort Collins and Greeley — where annual operating margins, income compared with costs, have grown sixfold since 2009, hitting $353.6 million in 2017.But the Pikes Peak region isn’t immune. More than $450 million has been spent renovating and expanding hospitals across Colorado Springs … [Read more...] about Colorado agency questions hospitals’ spending practices amid expansion boom, rising insurance costs
NEW YORK (Reuters) - When companies try to tackle rising healthcare costs, shifting more of the burden to employees is increasingly the strategy of choice. But Activision Blizzard, an entertainment company that employs more than 6,000 people in the United States, has been spending less on healthcare than projected for the last few years, in large part because it is offering better options for cancer care. “I’m a cancer survivor myself. I know what it’s like when you get a diagnosis,” said human resources head Milt Ezzard, who joined the Santa Monica, California-based company six years ago. “You go into a black hole and just get through it.” Cancer is one of the most expensive conditions to treat, driving about 20 percent of a company’s healthcare spend, said Hugh Ma, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Robin Care, which guides workers through cancer illnesses. Rather than focus on the big picture of cutting costs, some companies are … [Read more...] about Can better cancer care lower company’s health costs?
Dive Brief: Morgan Stanley is the latest big employer to take a more active role in tackling rising healthcare costs, hiring its first chief medical officer and head of human resources data and analytics earlier this week. The new hire is David Stark, assistant professor and medical director from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, a spokesperson confirmed to Healthcare Dive. Stark is a doctor who has worked at New York-based Icahn as an assistant professor of health system design and global health and served as medical director of the Institute for Next Generation Healthcare since July 2016. Business Insider first reported the new role. Stark will seek ways to stem the tide of healthcare costs while boosting wellness for the 57,000 employees at the bank. Stark created Lab100 earlier this year, a clinic and research lab at Mount Sinai that leverages data and analytics to help patients try to improve their own health and behavior. Dive Insight: Morgan Stanley … [Read more...] about Morgan Stanley hires first CMO to combat rising healthcare costs
Brief Dive Brief: CVS' CEO and CFO laid out examples for how consumers and shareholders could benefit from the proposed merger with Aetna during a recent investor meeting hosted by Mizuho Securities. Mizuho analysts said investors have been interested in the "long-term merits" of the deal, which is expected to achieve $750 million in cost savings in the second full year after closing. Executives described how they could use its existing services to better serve Aetna's members. As soon as the deal closes, if it does, CVS believes it will have immediate access to 20% of Aetna's membership currently using the stores. That matters because CVS believes its pharmacists play a crucial role in shaping a patient's overall behavior. CVS said many investors underestimate the role of the pharmacist. For example, if a diabetic patient who is also an Aetna member comes to CVS to fill a prescription, the pharmacist can remind the customer that they are due for an A1C test. … [Read more...] about CVS execs promote proposed Aetna merger as cost saver