SIX Louisiana Cities Have the Highest Healthcare Costs in the Nation!
This may be worth doing in some cases, but by the time we hire the expert, evaluate the costs, report his findings then we have incurred additional defense costs. That does not even get us to the trial stage, where we may have to call the expert to testify.
Six of the 10 most expensive places to buy health care in the nation are in Louisiana, including Metairie, Baton Rouge and Lafayette.
That’s according to a new Institute of Medicine study that attempted to examine geographic differences in health care spending among Medicare, Medicaid, privately insured and uninsured populations.
With Louisiana near the top of many of the country’s “worst of” health lists — asthma, diabetes, heart disease, obesity — it could be tempting to credit this distinction to our state’s particularly unhealthy population. But the study, which was commissioned under the terms of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, found that differences in traditional, fee-for-service health care spending exist in spite of age, sex and health status.
Jonathan Skinner, a professor of economics at Dartmouth College, who has studied variations in health care spending for years, said that Louisiana has several strikes against it, even when studies like this one control for poverty, race and health status.
Besides having an incredibly unhealthy population, he said, individual patient care between hospitals and community clinicians is often fragmented, leading to high percentages of hospital readmissions soon after discharge. Louisiana also has a robust market for what he called “entrepreneurial home health providers” that clearly plays a role.
“To me,” Skinner said of the study, “the spending differences are important, but what worries me more is that this is an indicator of poor care.”
Federal prosecutors appear to count Medicare fraud as a priority in Louisiana, where about 718,000 people are on Medicare. Baton Rouge is one of nine U.S. cities to house a Medicare Strike Force Team, a national effort to weed out fraud on the local level.
Kathy Kliebert, secretary for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, said she hadn’t yet read the report. But she said Louisiana is working hard to address overspending in the state-run Medicaid system by developing a stronger system of managed care through its Bayou Health program — a systematic attempt to reduce cost by better matching price to quality while discouraging the use of unnecessary or redundant services.
“If you can’t tie costs to outcomes,” Kliebert
Dr. Rebekah Gee, Louisiana’s Medicaid medical director, said that though the findings are largely based on Medicare data, she believes the report tells a story about what is happening across Louisiana in private and public health care spending.
Mark: I feel your frustration. All that one can do is request all the meds and go over them and the bills with a fine tooth comb. What I am seeing is expensive testing which reveals no injuries but it really drives the cost up. I just settled a minor case where a 7 year old fell from a bench swing or they claimed she fell, meds were over 17K with nothing more than a neck sprain. It was difficult to dismiss them as unnecessary since the ER ordered them. If you come up with a solution, I am all ears.