Industry Pledges to Control Health Care Costs Voluntarily

  1. health care providers are hoping that the voluntary action will help to stave off new government price constraints.

    washington-doctors, [color=#004276]hospitals, drug makers and insurance companies will join [color=#004276]president obama on monday in announcing their commitment to a sharp reduction in the growth of national health spending, white house officials said sunday.
    the officials said the plan could save $2,500 a year for a family of four in the fifth year and a total of $2 trillion for the nation over 10 years. that could make it less expensive for congress to enact comprehensive [color=#004276]health insurance coverage, a daunting challenge facing the obama administration...

    in a letter addressed to mr. obama, six leaders of the health care industry say: "we will do our part to achieve your administration's goal of decreasing by 1.5 percentage points the annual health care spending growth rate, saving $2 trillion or more. this represents more than a 20 percent reduction in the projected rate of growth."

    the letter was signed by executives of the advanced medical technology association, a lobby for medical device manufacturers; the american hospital association; the [color=#004276]american medical association; america's health insurance plans, a trade group for insurers; the pharmaceutical research and manufacturers of america; and the [color=#004276]service employees international union...

    the [color=#004276]department of health and human services estimates that health spending will grow an average of 6.2 percent a year in the coming decade, to $4.4 trillion in 2018 from $2.4 trillion last year.

    health care now accounts for about 17 percent of the overall economy and, with no change in existing law, the share will grow to 21 percent in 2019, administration officials said. the commitments made by health care providers would hold down the share to 18 percent of the economy, and that difference is equivalent to savings of nearly $700 billion in 2019 alone, the officials said...
    to read the rest of the article, go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/11/he..._r=1&th&emc=th
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    About VickyRN

    Joined: Mar '01; Posts: 12,037; Likes: 6,467
    Nurse Educator; from US
    Specialty: 16 year(s) of experience in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds

    13 Comments

  3. by   oramar
    They have a similar article in WSJ. I read it with great trepidation. I just don't know what it means for nursing but I got a bad feeling.
  4. by   VickyRN
    My thoughts exactly
  5. by   AtomicWoman
    I heard this on NPR and I thought, yeah, right. They are going to "voluntarily" "control costs" because they are terrified of national healthcare, terrified of their industries becoming more controlled by the Federal government. And whose backs will they accomplish this on? Lots of people, but nurses have to be right up there. I also shudder for my husband, who is a heavy utilizer of healthcare services. I wonder if his health insurer will be putting new restrictions on his Rxs on top of the ones they've already got in place.
  6. by   hope3456
    Yeah it is hard to know what this means for nurses but what comes to my mind is MD's being able to say NO to 'doing everything' for the 90 y.o. grandma who is a nsg home patient, in her last days anyway, but her family is to selfish to let her die peacefully.
  7. by   VickyRN
    Quote from hope3456
    Yeah it is hard to know what this means for nurses but what comes to my mind is MD's being able to say NO to 'doing everything' for the 90 y.o. grandma who is a nsg home patient, in her last days anyway, but her family is to selfish to let her die peacefully.
    I definitely see rationing of Medicare benefits to the elderly in the future, especially "futile care" measures. Not saying I agree with this, but I think it is inevitable.
  8. by   country mom
    Think those insurance execs are going to give up their multi-million salaries? No way! I don't think anyone has any new ideas about controlling costs. Same old song, different verse. Just allota political hot air. The only ones who are going to have to give up anything are the patients, and well, like usual, staff.
    Last edit by country mom on May 11, '09 : Reason: spelling error
  9. by   VICEDRN
    Quote from country mom
    Think those insurance execs are going to give up their multi-million salaries? No way! I don't think anyone has any new ideas about controlling costs. Same old song, different verse. Just allota political hot air. The only ones who are going to have to give up anything are the patients, and well, like usual, staff.
    Well said!
  10. by   GiGiOm
    Okay. Now I'm scared. I'm bracing for the cost saving measures to come out of the nurses' hides. Like always.
  11. by   country mom
    I'm even more concerned that patients will be ever more restricted in being able to access services. When patients cannot access services, hospitals have to cut costs and guess where they start? You guessed it- cutting nursing staff. And that's done one of two ways. They either take all your assistive staff- out with the aides, ward clerks, etc., or, they cut licensed staff and you've got one licensed overseeing multiple unlicensed staff. Either way, you can be sure that the dudes in the suits and ties won't give up their big salaries, country club memberships and all the trappings that they think they deserve.
  12. by   GiGiOm
    This is certainly a scary issue for all of us. For years this country has operated a healthcare apartheid system in which the working poor have very little access to the care they may need. I think the cost cutting pledge is a farce. Ultimately, the only ones who will lose are the patients who already had difficulty getting access and those working on the frontline. We definitely need reform, but I don't think the big insurance companies should get the best seats at the table. However, after reading about the mess in the UK and the atrocious working conditions for nurses there, I definitely don't want that system. We need some people with common sense at the helm.
  13. by   country mom
    Quote from GiGiOm
    This is certainly a scary issue for all of us. For years this country has operated a healthcare apartheid system in which the working poor have very little access to the care they may need. I think the cost cutting pledge is a farce. Ultimately, the only ones who will lose are the patients who already had difficulty getting access and those working on the frontline. We definitely need reform, but I don't think the big insurance companies should get the best seats at the table. However, after reading about the mess in the UK and the atrocious working conditions for nurses there, I definitely don't want that system. We need some people with common sense at the helm.
    Yes! We need reform, but unfortunately, we've got foxes guarding the henhouse. I don't think for a minute that government healthcare is the answer either- guess who's fattening the campaign pockets of the politicians- the weathly insurance execs.
  14. by   PostOpPrincess
    If they start imposing these cost-cutting methods on nursing, I think they will have more shortage problems.

    They're going to be dealing with the X-ers and Millenials who won't take it lying down.

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