Medicare Spending Cuts Also Reducing Healthcare
Spending for Younger People
Medicare by far the largest payer of hospital bills
in U.S., accounting for about 30% of total hospital revenues
6, 2114 – The increased efforts by Medicare to reduce costs and improve
the medical care for senior citizens and the disabled, mandated by
prices under the Obamacare, appears to be reducing the total overall
hospital spending. Even younger patients and insurance companies are
gaining the benefits.
“Our findings indicate that when Medicare tightly
reins in its inpatient hospital prices, hospitals scale back overall
capacity, resulting in less hospital use by nonelderly patients, not
just elderly patients,” said Chapin White, Ph.D., lead author and senior
policy researcher with RAND Corporation.
His recent study in Health Services Research
is based on 15 years of hospital data and shows that cuts in Medicare
prices under the Affordable Care Act may slow the growth in total
overall hospital spending.
White added that this kind of “spillover effect” is
important as it exemplifies the way that changes in Medicare prices can
affect the health system broadly. Medicare is by far the largest payer
of hospital bills in the U.S., accounting for around 30 percent of total
White analyzed hospital discharge data from 1995 to
2009 drawn from 116 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in ten
geographically diverse states. These MSAs include about one-third of the
US population; 97 million residents overall in 2000, including 84
million nonelderly residents.
They found that a 10 percent Medicare price cut was
associated with around a 5 percent decrease in discharges among
nonelderly patients and around a 6 percent decrease in hospital
Some healthcare analysts have suggested that
efforts to reduce healthcare spending in one area, such as lowering
payments to hospitals, will result in higher costs elsewhere. The
current findings indicate otherwise, instead suggesting that Medicare
spending cuts will broadly slow hospital spending among all age groups.
Lauren Hersch Nicholas, Ph.D., assistant professor
at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, who was not involved in
the study noted, “Health economists believe that providers, such as
physicians and hospitals, typically adopt a single practice style to
treat all patients.”
So, she says, when one large payer incentivizes
providers to offer more efficient care, all their patients receive that
kind of care. In this vein, she surmises that the slowdown in Medicare
costs anticipated due to Affordable Care Act reforms may bring about
fewer admissions and fewer inpatient days for all patients.
Medicare is trying now to accomplish two important
goals, to slow down growth in health care spending and to improve the
quality of care for its beneficiaries, explained Nicholas. The study,
she says, “suggest that benefits of these policies may extend to
nonelderly patients, potentially reducing insurance costs and
out-of-pocket healthcare spending for working-age populations.”
Information from Health Behavior News Service, part
Center for Advancing Health. Health Services Research is the
official journal of the Academy Health and is published by John Wiley &
Sons, Inc. on behalf of the Health Research and Educational Trust.
Financial Relief for Volkswagen Diesel Owners
You may be eligible for money damages if you owned or leased one of these VW, Porsche or Audi vehicles.
In the major scandal of 2015, Volkswagen cheated you and the world. They rigged diesel emission controls so you, nor regulators, would know how much pollution their cars were adding to our environment.
They were caught and have reserved $7.3 billion to help "make it right" with victims.
If you owned or leased one of these vehicles, contact us now.
Janicek Law attorneys are actively pursuing these cases against VW. Do Not Wait...