What’s in store for 2015?

PwC’s Health Research Institute projects what is going to happen to health spending in 2015.  According to their annual report, Medical Cost Trend: Behind the Numbers: At first glance, the health sector [in 2015] appears to be reverting to historical patterns of bouncing back as the nation recovers from the economic doldrums. Whether spending more freely because…

Health care cost rising by almost 10%

Many times I have been asked whether the Affordable Care Act is a good thing.  The 1 sentence answer is: “Yes, because it expands health insurance coverage to more Americans, but no because it adds many layers of regulation and does little to slow cost growth.”  This last point is rearing its ugly head.  Sally Pipes…

Has the cost curve bent?

The answer may be ‘yes’ according to recent figures from the CMS Office of the Actuary (OACT). For the fourth consecutive year, growth in health care spending remained low, increasing by 3.7 percent in 2012 to $2.8 trillion. At the same time, the share of the economy devoted to health fell slightly (from 17.3 percent to 17.2 percent) as…

The skewed Medicaid spending distribution

Many people claim Medicaid recipients are moochers, relying on the federal government.  Further, Medicaid costs states a lot of money.  Why don’t Medicaid programs just raise copays to reduce unnecessary use of medical care? The reason is that the vast majority of Medicaid beneficiaries don’t spend too much money.  Medicaid is expensive mostly due to…