Congress delves into the intricacies of healthcare costs

Milliman experts and their research are increasingly a part of Congressional discussions of healthcare reform. On Tuesday, AHIP President and CEO Karen Ignagni cited research by Will Fox and John Pickering in her testimony before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee:

A December 2008 study by Milliman, Inc. projects that this cost shifting essentially imposes a surtax of $88.8 billion annually on privately insured patients, increasing their hospital and physician costs by 15 percent. This study concluded that annual health care spending for an average family of four is $1,788 higher than it would be if all payers paid equivalent rates to hospitals and physicians. The transfer of these costs to those with private coverage cannot be sustained and is critical to addressing concerns over affordability.

Yesterday, Dennis Smith of the Heritage Foundation cited research by Milliman Principals Bruce Pyenson, Kate Fitch, and Susan Pantely into the Wyoming long-term care system in his testimony to the Senate Finance Committee.

Earlier this month, Pickering appeared before the House Ways and Means Committee to discuss cost-shifting, while Pyenson testified before the House Committee on Education and Labor, discussing cost-reduction strategies.