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New advisory group seeks to reign in health care costs

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Gov. John Carney has signed an executive order setting up an advisory group to help the state measure and report the total cost of health care.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid in June released a 50-state analysis of per-capita health care spending. Delaware had the third highest rate, behind only Alaska and Massachusetts. Its per-capita rate was $10,254, compared to the U.S. average of $8,045. That rate could double by 2025 without changes, according to CMS.

The Health Care Delivery and Cost Advisory Group will work with the Department of Health and Social Services to reign in costs and determine new quality benchmarks.

“We have the talent and the capacity in our Delaware health care community to move to better value in our health care system and deliver better outcomes for the people of our state,” said DHSS Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker. “The advisory group gives us the unique opportunity to continue progress in a collaborative forum and gather input on how to best to track the trend lines in the total cost of health care over time.”

The advisory group will include the DHSS Secretary; Director of the Office of Management and Budget; Chair of the Delaware Health Care Commission; Chair of the Delaware Center for Health Innovation; hospital representatives; representatives from the insurance industry, a licensed physician; a health economist; and a business community representative.

“Delaware has consistently ranked among the states that spend the most on health care, yet we’re not seeing the best results,” said Governor Carney. “High costs present a barrier to quality health care, squeeze family budgets, crowd out other important state investments, and prevent businesses from investing in innovation and job creation. We’re committed to addressing this issue, to bringing providers to the table, reducing costs, and improving health outcomes for Delawareans across our state.”

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