Insurers Curbing Costs as Healthcare Costs Rise

As healthcare costs rise in Florida, insurers and hospitals vested in the success of the Affordable Care Act, are coming up with new ways to cut costs from buying services in bulk and piloting programs to lowering hospital readmission rates and limiting the number of doctors within a plan's network.

As health care costs rise in Florida, insurers and hospitals vested in the success of the Affordable Care Act, are coming up with new ways to cut costs from buying services in bulk and piloting programs to lowering hospital readmission rates and limiting the number of doctors within a plan's network.

Florida's health care costs is rising an average of 6.9 percent a year, higher than the national average of 6.5 percent. Health care expenditures per capita in the state are $7,156 compared to the national average of $6,815 during that same time period, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. Reining in health care costs, which have been growing far faster than inflation and wages, will be crucial to the long-term success of the Affordable Care Act.

President Barack Obama has repeatedly stressed that health care reforms will give more people access to affordable coverage no matter their age, income or medical history. Insurers will have to offer more benefits in some cases and are restricted in how much they can charge older, sicker people. Insurers are also banned from turning away those with pre-existing conditions. But if the federal health law is successful, it will mean more customers for insurers and more paying patients for hospitals, giving them more incentive to experiment with different ways of paying doctors and delivering care in an industry with already shrinking profit margins.

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Source: SFGate