Health care spending rates are on the rise and are likely to keep increasing, according to a new report by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). The predictions are pretty staggering. HCFA projects that national health spending will amount to $1.23 trillion in 1999 and $2.18 trillion by 2008. It projects that national health expenditures as a percentage of GDP will be 13.9 percent in 1999 (compared with 1998's level of 13.5 percent) and increase to 16.2 percent of GDP by 2008. You can read more about the spending rates and the distribution of that spending in today's Vidyya.
The fate of the unisured is a hot political issue. New information out this week from a division of the Agency For Health Care Quality and Research shows that minorities are woefully underrepresented among the insured population.
Hospitals may be in for a shock as they implement the new Medicare payment scheme for outpatient care. The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) reported that the new Ambulatory Payment Classification System (APC)would give hospitals around 5% gain on outpatient reimbursement. A private publication claims that a hospital North Carolina is projecting a near 50% loss.
Finally, liver transplant recipients seem to be faring better under revised organ procurement and distribution rules set up by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). A UNOS analysis of recent changes to U.S. liver transplant policy indicates that urgent patients receive a large and increasing proportion of donated livers.
Articles in today's Vidyya are:
As always, we hope you enjoy the issue.