Reports Show Rising Health Costs, Ways To Slow Them
A PricewaterhouseCoopers report suggests a leap in the portion of health costs paid directly by employees will leave the majority of the American workforce with deductibles of $400 or more for the first time next year, The Associated Press/Los Angeles Times reports. "Two years ago, only 25 percent of companies participating in the annual survey said they asked employees to pay deductibles of $400 or more. That grew to 43 percent in 2010 and is expected to pass 50 percent next year. Employees who are asked to pay more through things like higher deductibles help keep cost growth in check because they use less health care" (Murphy, 6/14).
Meanwhile, the "U.S. healthcare industry can cut $3.6 trillion in waste over 10 years with a few common-sense steps to eliminate fraud, errors and to encourage efficiency and healthier behavior, according to an analysis by Thomson Reuters," Reuters reports. "Recommended changes include giving patients a medical 'home' to better coordinate care, eliminating a culture of fraud, encouraging patients to ask about healthcare costs, and rewarding quality improvement initiatives" (6/13).