After 10 days away from the keyboard – family vacation in Mexico and gravel bike race in California – it’s back at it.
shockingly the world kept turning while I was unplugged…
The estimable Charles Gaba has just updated his analysis of US healthcare coverage by payer. Charles’ work is the best I’ve encountered to date…he includes everything from Medicare and Medicaid to Exchange programs to Healthcare Sharing ministries (between 865,000 and 1.5 million, Indian Health Services (2.6 million)…
Here’s the all-in-one view…
Despite all those gazillions of people with insurance, many hospitals are having real/awful/terrible financial problems. Hospitals’ average margin – according to Kaufman Hall – was -3.4% for the first 11 months of 2022.
That said, things steadily improved during the year…
In the tiny world that is workers’ comp, NCCI released its review of medical inflation…among non-hospital providers (docs, PTs, etc).
As in 1.5% per year over the last decade.
Final note. Facility costs are increasing.
Most payers are doing a really crappy job addressing this; their bill review partners/operations are woefully ill-equipped to ensure your dollars aren’t being Hoovered up by healthcare systems and hospitals.
And yes “most payers”includes you.
To date those increases have been matched by a $2 billion decline in drug spending – which, by the way, has also reduced claim durations (way lower opioid usage = way more claim resolutions).
Physician costs are pretty much flat, drug costs are way down, and facility costs are headed up…net is you need to PLEASE stop catastrophizing about “severity increases” and other nonsense.
If I read one more survey or interview or discussion of workers’ comp execs afraid of “rate inadequacy” or medical inflation or some other incredibly uninformed and wrong-headed and ignorant fear mongering I’m going to call them out publicly.