Healthcare Spending Projections
On June 14, 2023, CMS released its projections for healthcare spending.
- Total healthcare spending will increase from $4.1 trillion in 2021 to $7.2 trillion in 2031, an average annual increase of 5.4%. At the same time, its share of GDP will grow from 18.3% in 2022, to 19.6% in 2031.
- Private health insurance will grow from $1.2 trillion in 2021 to $1.9 trillion in 2031, an average annual increase of 5.4%.
- Medicare spending will grow at an average rate of 7.5%; Medicaid at 5.0%.
Can you believe these numbers? They’re frightening! Who will be able to pay them? For example, if you are a private employer and your average 2021 health insurance premium per employee (and dependents) was $25,000, in 2031 it will be a whopping $42,300 — 70% more than your 2021 premium!
Clearly, something must be done to cut health insurance claims and costs, or in a few years a lot companies will be out of business!
What Can Be Done?
The place to start is the exam room where claims and costs originate. That’s where we can get the biggest bang for our bucks!
When a doctor sees a patient, she first needs to understand his health issues and general condition. Then as she examines him she needs “interoperability” — the ability to instantly access his information and records from all his other care providers so she can coordinate his care, avoid costly medical errors and not require unnecessary visits, tests, or procedures. Unfortunately, she can’t easily do either today (despite what EMR vendors say).
As a result she may make a mistake, a “medical error,” that puts him in the ICU or hospital for several days at enormous cost to you (or she might accidentally kill him). And she may require additional visits and/or order unnecessary tests and procedures that also add materially to the costs you have to pay!
So let’s give her the information she needs at the start of a visit, and the interoperability she needs during a visit. The number of claims will drop as will the cost of health insurance! To do this, we must:
- establish those two goals as our primary healthcare IT objectives for the immediate future.
- drop for now those “wouldn’t-it-be-nice-to-have” features we’ve been pursuing or dreaming about for years that have distracted us from our primary mission!
- look for a system that works today and stop trying to link care provider “silos” — an approach that doesn’t work!
The Solution That Works
Happily, there is a unique patient-focused system available today that does just what patients, providers and employers want and need. It’s called MedKaz®. Instead of trying to link provider silos, it assembles a patient’s complete record from all his or her providers, and the application to manage them, on a MedKaz mini drive which they give to their doctors in the exam room. (Full disclosure: we created it!)
- At the start of a visit, it gives their doctors the information they need about their patient and saves them precious time.
- During a visit, it gives their doctors instant access to all their records from all their providers, so they can deliver better, coordinated care, reduce its cost — and much more!
- At the end of the visit, their doctors enter their notes into their own EMR systems (not MedKaz) and upload a copy to the MedKaz Server for distribution to the patient, their other providers and others the patient has chosen.
- It sends a message to their doctors that you want your employees to receive better care at lower cost.
- It tells your employees that you care about them.
- Last but certainly not least, it gives you power you’ve never had before: the power to ensure your employees get better care, and simultaneously reduce your health insurance costs! Unlike other approaches where you are relegated to the sidelines, with MedKaz you are front and center.
YOU — the employer or insurer — drive MedKaz adoption by paying a fraction of your savings as financial incentives to your employees and their doctors to use it! And when they do, the number of claims you have to pay will go down and so will your health insurance costs! Adding to its appeal:
- your employees will be healthier, happier, more productive, and more inclined to stay with you — and it may even help you recruit new employees in this tough hiring environment!
- their doctors will be happier, more satisfied, less vulnerable to burnout and more profitable.
- you and your shareholders will be happier.
MedKaz works. It meets the needs of patients, doctors and employers. So let’s adopt it and get going. We can’t afford further delays or the projected increases in healthcare costs!
For more about MedKaz and how it works, visit our website. You should also read how Jack uses his. Then complete the Contact form on a FAQs page, email or call us to answer your questions and design a program to introduce MedKaz to a cohort of your employees and their doctors so you can see its benefits for yourself.