The Governor of Maine John E. Baldacci released the 2008-2009 State Health Plan developed to make healthcare delivery more efficient and effective and slow the growth in healthcare spending. There were a number of findings presented in the plan.
Among the Findings:
- Nearly 37% or $1.2 billion increased spending in healthcare between 1998-2005 is the result of chronic illnesses
- Maine is above the national average in supplying healthcare services that include MRIs and staffed hospital beds
- It was found that excess capacity drives utilization which increases costs while doing nothing to improve patient outcomes
- Nearly 85% of premium dollars is spent on medical claims, 11% on insurance administration, and 4% on profit.
- The most effective way to reduce premium growth is to reduce medical claims
The 2008-2009 State Health Plan will have several tasks to:
- Implement a pilot program to redesign how medical care is delivered by creating patient centered medical homes to focus on prevention, chronic care management, and care coordination
- Start using Maine’s just completed payer claims database to develop a detailed regional analysis of healthcare cost drivers
- Analyze and advocate for national solutions to achieve universal access to healthcare
- Address issues in oral health
- Increase the access to healthcare services through the use of telemedicine
- Find ways for the Veterans Health Services to be offered locally through federally qualified health centers
- Strengthen the system of local health officers and develop regional health plans
- Review DirigoChoice to find options on how to reduce costs and increase efficiencies to cover more people
- Investigate the costs and causes for the state’s high emergency department use
- Examine strategies needed to stem the rising cost of insurance in the small business market
- Reduce cost shifting and increase the flow of federal funds to the state
- Reduce the rates of hospital acquired infections through a hospital collaborative and strengthen Maine’s medical errors reporting
For more information, go to www.maine.gov/governor/vbaldacci/cabinet/health_policy.html.