As agents lie in wait for the full implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, many industry professionals have received questions from their insurance customers about how healthcare reform will impact the health system's performance. While this has yet to be determined, a new study indicates that healthcare spending growth can be cut by as much as $2 trillion with certain adjustments to current policies.
According to a recent study conducted by the nonpartisan think tank the Commonwealth Fund, health system expenses can be reduced by as much $2 trillion over the next 10 years with several broad-based approaches. These include making provider payments more streamlined to advance healthcare delivery more quickly, making health policies expansive so consumers have more options and establishing local, regional and national caps on healthcare spending to prevent expenses from spiraling out of control.
David Blumenthal, president of the New York City-based health policy analysis foundation, indicated that spending needs to be reined in.
"U.S. health spending has been growing far faster than wages and putting stress on families and businesses as well as federal and state budgets," said Blumenthal.
He added that the framework established by the Commonwealth Fund can cut expenses without sacrificing healthcare quality.
Government officials in support of the PPACA say that its implementation will help cut help spending both for the country and for individual consumers. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, people with Medicare will save $5 billion on prescription drugs, directly as a result of the healthcare law.
Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of HHS, indicated that even with some of the PPACA now in effect, 2.8 million people saved an average of nearly $680 on prescription drugs.