- Even though the average life span is 77.9 years in the U.S., Deloitte calculated that Americans are living just 65.9 years, or 85% of their years, in good health.
- Eleven member institutions, organizations and individuals supported the Association of American Medical Colleges’ statement on the SCOTUS decision on race-conscious admissions.
- Health spending through 2031 is expected to grow more rapidly, on average, than the overall economy, and by 2031, it will account for roughly $1 out of every $5 spent in the United States.
Over the past few weeks, I have found these industry news stories that should be of interest to healthcare finance professionals.
1. The U.S. could see life and health spans increase if employers step up to help drive change
“[W]e could see life span in the United States increase by an average of 12 years and health span increase by an average of 19.4 years by 2040,” with employers leading the charge for staff to adopt healthier life habits, according to a June 20 Deloitte Insights article.
Although employers are charged with spurring the change, the authors note that for “widespread, lasting change,” it would take all stakeholders, including the life sciences and healthcare industries, consumer and technology industries, public health and individuals, to come together.
What does this mean for healthcare providers?
Deloitte’s “Breaking the cost curve” reported the cost of U.S. healthcare could be slashed by a projected $4 trillion if stakeholders “focus on prevention, wellness, and empowered consumers,” wrote the authors.
“The projected increase in healthy years, therefore, will also potentially see a significant reduction (nearly a third) in health care spending,” they added.
What can employers do?
Employers could, in part, do the following to improve health at the macro level:
- Ensure their workforce has improved access, benefits and support for physical and mental healthcare services
- Improve health literacy and education for their employees
- Create more awareness of health and well-being by providing employees with preventive and wellness programs
Differences between life span and health span
“Even though the average life span is 77.9 years, Deloitte calculated that Americans are living just 65.9 years (or 85% of their years) in good health,” wrote the authors. “According to analysis conducted by Deloitte’s Health and Life Actuarial teams, all Americans could potentially live up to 95% of their years in good health and live to be nearly 90 years old. … Not only can people of all ages gain more years and more healthy years, but we could spend less on health care in the process.”
HFMA resources on the topic
Related resources that are available from HFMA include the recently published “Healthcare 2030: Health vs. Care,” past President and CEO Joe Fifer’s March 2023 column “The courage to reframe healthcare to encompass ‘health,’” and the feature article “Michael Giardina: Why promoting a fitness approach like CrossFit should be a goal for all U.S. health systems.”
2. The AAMC expresses deep disappointment in SCOTUS decision on race-conscious admissions
Two representatives of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) — David J. Skorton, MD, president and CEO, and Frank Trinity, JD, chief legal officer — issued a statement June 29 expressing the association’s deep disappointment “with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to dismantle its longstanding precedent in the 2003 case, Grutter v. Bollinger, which had recognized student body diversity as a compelling interest permitting the limited consideration of race in admissions,” according to a news release.
The statement continued saying “Today’s decision demonstrates a lack of understanding of the critical benefits of racial and ethnic diversity in educational settings and a failure to recognize the urgent need to address health inequities in our country. … The AAMC and its member institutions are committed to providing the most effective medical education and patient care, as well as advancing scientific discovery to improve lives in our communities. We will work together to adapt following today’s court decision without compromising these goals. The health of everyone depends on it.”
Eleven member institutions, organizations and individuals supported the AAMC’s statement on the SCOTUS decision on race-conscious admissions, including the Children’s Hospital Association and Emory University School of Medicine, according to an addendum to the news release.
Prior to the decision, 45 healthcare organizations had backed AAMC’s filing of an amicus brief that urged the Supreme Court “to refrain from a broad prohibition on awareness of an applicant’s race, which for many applicants is a significant part of their personal story.”
3. Health spending is expected to continue to grow over the next decade
“Health spending over the course of the next ten years is expected to grow more rapidly, on average, than the overall economy, and by 2031, it will account for roughly $1 out of every $5 spent in the US,” according to a Health Affairs research article written by CMS actuaries and published June 14.
Additional findings include:
National health expenditures. Projections show national health expenditures are expected to grow 5.4%, on average, over the course of 2022-31 and to account for roughly 20% of the economy by the end of that period.
Hospital spending growth. In 2023, hospital spending growth is projected to accelerate to 9.3% before slowing to 5.6% in 2024. For 2025-31, hospital spending growth is projected to average 6.1% per year, “as trends are expected to normalize and transition away from pandemic-related impacts on utilization and spending,” wrote the authors.
Private health insurance spending. In 2023, private health insurance spending is expected to grow 7.7%, up from 3% in 2022, with per enrollee spending growth accelerating from 1.5% in 2022 to 6.8% “as a result of faster growth in both utilization and prices.” This growth is partially due to “higher expected use of hospital services, rebounding from negative utilization growth in 2022.”
HFMA bonus content
- Read the July 5 article “An HFMA podcast episode wins top overall award, and hfm magazine earns a gold for general excellence.”
- Listen to the latest episode of HFMA’s new podcast, Healthcare Blame Game: “Reporters are knee deep in press releases. Most lack context.”
- Read the article “Healthcare entrepreneur Alex Oshmyansky describes his efforts to disrupt drug pricing,” a report from HFMA’s 2023 Annual Conference by Nick Hut, senior editor.
- Check out the summer issue of hfm magazine, including the cover story “Mayo Clinic CFO Dennis Dahlen preparing for his year as HFMA’s National Chair.”