- North Carolina may be abandoning its efforts to implement Medicare reference-based pricing for state employees.
- As the cost of healthcare continues to increase, this is not the last to be heard of this cost-cutting strategy from large employers.
It looks like North Carolina is abandoning its efforts to implement Medicare reference-based pricing for state employees. With only four of the state’s 126 hospitals signing the contract, the state was unable to provide its employees with an adequate hospital network.
However, I don’t think this is the last we’ve heard of this strategy from large employers by a long shot.
So, something has to give if alternative payment models and steerage strategies don’t yield savings for employers.
I would expect the next state that tries Medicare reference-based pricing will, like Montana, offer more of a quid pro quo (e.g. yes, we’re cutting your payments for state employees, but we’ll use those dollars to fund Medicaid expansion). Or at least be more flexible in their approach.