health care spending

Florida House Seeks Ways To Trim Health Spending

Oct 17, 2019
Stethoscope on a pile of money.
iStock

Sending a signal that health care spending could be targeted for reductions next year, a House health panel is going to identify up to $624 million for possible “reprioritization.” 

Key Health Budget Issues Could Get Kicked Upstairs

Mar 1, 2018
The News Service of Florida

A top budget writer said Wednesday she doesn’t expect a conference committee to settle all the differences between the House and Senate on health-care spending, leaving the issues to be decided by legislative leaders. 

Earlier this year, the Gallup organization set out to identify the top concerns everyday Americans have about money. Researchers asked more than a thousand people across the country, "What is the most important financial problem facing your family today?" Their top answer: the cost of health care.

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Healthcare spending for some services dropped by nearly a third when people turned 65 and switched from private insurance to Medicare, according to a recent study. The decline was driven by lower prices paid by the Medicare program to doctors and other providers rather than a drop-off in the volume of services seniors receive.

Retail Clinics Add Convenience But Also Hike Costs, Study Finds

Mar 8, 2016
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Retail clinics, long seen as an antidote to more expensive doctor offices and emergency rooms, may actually boost medical spending by leading consumers to get more care, a new study shows.

Consumer Choices Have Limited Impact On U.S. Health Care Spending: Study

Mar 7, 2016

A new study throws cold water on the popular idea that consumers can save themselves and the health care system loads of money if they become savvier shoppers for health care services.

U.S. Health Spending Growth Lowest Since 1960

Dec 4, 2014

National health spending grew 3.6 percent in 2013, the lowest annual increase since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began tracking the statistic in 1960, officials said Wednesday.

Spending slowed for private health insurance, Medicare, hospitals, physicians and clinical services and out-of-pocket spending by consumers.  However, it accelerated for Medicaid and for prescription drugs, according to the report, published online by the journal Health Affairs.

Florida’s seniors may be able to breathe a little easier, knowing that the Medicare hospital trust fund will be financially sound longer than projected because health spending has moderated, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. Government trustees reported that Medicare’s hospital fund should run short around 2026, two years later than projected in 2012. 

Florida rates in the top 10 on spending per-person for prescription drugs and doctor visits, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of federal health data by state.

On drugs, Florida ranked fourth among the states at an average $1,213 per person. On clinicians' visits, Florida spending was No. 6, at an average of $1,950.  This state was also high on durable medical equipment.

Uniform medical records and health cards are just two of the ideas that could begin to bring down the unit cost in health-care treatment, according to a column in the Tampa Bay Times by Richard Meyer, emeritus professor of business at University of South Florida.

He also favors the requirement that hospitals stop charging the uninsured more than they charge the best-insured.