WILMINGTON, DE (STL.News) Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) Secretary Molly Magarik presented the state’s first Benchmark Trend Report at today’s Delaware Health Care Commission (DHCC) meeting, summarizing health care spending and quality data collected for calendar year 2019. The report is the latest step in the state’s effort to reduce health care spending and improve quality of care for Delawareans.
The Benchmark Trend Report details total health care spending for 2019 and compares it to baseline data collected for 2018. In late 2018, Governor John Carney signed Executive Order 25, establishing a state health care spending benchmark, a per-annum rate-of-growth benchmark for health care spending, and several health care quality measures. The first spending benchmark went into effect on Jan. 1, 2019, and was set at 3.8%, with the target expected to decrease gradually to 3% over the following three years.
For calendar year 2019, the report found overall health care spending in Delaware totaled $8.2 billion vs. $7.6 billion for 2018. The per-capita cost increased from $7,814 in 2018 to $8,424 in 2019, or 7.8% – more than twice as high as the 3.8% target. Spending in 2019 increased across all spending categories, including the five largest:
- Hospital inpatient: $1.8 billion (up from $1.6 billion in 2018)
- Hospital outpatient: $1.6 billion (up from $1.4 billion in 2018)
- Physician: $1.3 billion (up from $1.2 billion in 2018)
- Pharmacy: $1.2 billion (up from $1.1 billion in 2018)
- Long-term care: $1.1 billion (up from $1 billion in 2018)
“This kind of transparency and public awareness of health care spending is important for everyone in the system – health care providers, consumers, taxpayers, insurers and businesses,” said Secretary Magarik, a member of the Health Care Commission.