What is the Role of “Obamacare” in Driving Down HealthCare Costs?
I’ve been doing a lot of reading regarding healthcare pricing in the U.S. relative to the costs paid for the same medical services or goods in European countries, or even the amounts paid by those on Medicare or Medicaid.
The term ‘chargemaster’ refers to the complete pricing list of every product or service billed for by a medical provider such as a hospital.
What, if anything, is Obamacare doing to gain more control of the actual pricing of medical services, and has Obamacare been able to successfully negotiate lower costs with providers for medical services than those typically negotiated between insurers and medical providers though non-Obamacare health plans?
Beyond a simple answer, if you are able to direct me to any specific reference materials or resources that address this I would appreciate that, as I suspect others may be interested in this also.
ObamaCare is part spending and revenue, and part cost curbing measures to reduce growth in healthcare spending. It has a large focus on Medicare, but also drives down Medicaid and private spending too.
Since it's a big law, the discussion around this is vast. In short it has curbed spending through an entire Title of Medicare provisions and helped addressed other spending with a number of regulations and new best practices for healthcare providers.
We have wrote some pages that touch upon this question in detail so check out:
ObamaCare cost curbing measures
Or simply read our summary of Provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. You'll see what provisions do what, it gives a pretty good idea as to what parts of the healthcare system get the most focus. Specifically Medicare gets a ton of attention, this in many ways equates to the fact that Medicare spending is one of the biggest problems in healthcare spending.
All of the above being said, there are some areas where, arguably, not enough attention has been given. Two that come to mind are tighter regulations on what hospitals charge and tighter regulation on billing, claims, and billing and claim denials (in all of healthcare, not just hospitals. Insurer denials come to mind).
A lot of the ACA addresses the root causes of healthcare spending, and advisory boards seek to find more, but certainly more things can be done.
Would be great to use this question's comments section as a way to list of legitimate parts of the healthcare system that people feel need to be addressed further.