Medicaid Spending

From the EDPMA Newsletter, ED Leader:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued the first actuarial report on Medicaid spending since the program’s inception 42 years ago.

This first report on the Medicaid program contains analysis of past program trends and projections of Medicaid expenditures and enrollment for the next 10 years.  The report projects that Medicaid benefits spending will increase 7.3 percent from 2007 to 2008, reaching $339 billion and will grow at an annual average rate of 7.9 percent over the next 10 years, reaching $674 billion by 2017. That compares to a projected rate of growth of 4.8 percent in the general economy.

Many continue to rely on ERs

Massachusetts is serving as the nation’s laboratory for universal insurance…

From the Boston Globe:

The vast majority of Bay State residents have health insurance and a primary-care physician, but many are still relying on hospital emergency rooms for care that could have been handled less expensively by their family doctors, according to a new survey.

Fourteen percent of adults surveyed said they had trekked to the ER at least once in the past year for ailments that they thought could have been treated by their doctors, if he or she had been available, according to the poll by the Boston Globe and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation.

PA law would send test results to patients

From the Courier Times:

State Rep. Marguerite Quinn …. is sponsoring legislation to make it mandatory for patients to receive a summary of their tests results that are sent to doctors and insurance companies.

“The information in test results already belongs to the patient,” said Quinn, a Republican who represents parts of Central and Upper Bucks in the 143rd District. “It’s theirs to have, and the failure of communication should not cost a life. I believe that if it is passed it can save lives.”

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The “Patient Test Result Information Act,” which has at least 50 sponsors, would make it mandatory for the testing agency to send a summary of test results to the patient within 10 days of sending them to the physician.

“We’re not talking about pages and pages. It’s the summary,” Quinn said.