PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Governor Dan McKee is proposing the creation of a budget including the Health Spending Accountability Program to support small businesses and working families against growing healthcare and health insurance costs.
The program, funded by $500,000 of State Fiscal Recovery Fund dollars and chaired by the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner (OHIC) alongside health care stakeholders, local businesses, and community advocates, will focus on the collection of spending data and use the data to lower spending growth.
This plan will include insurer performance on health care cost growth compared to a predetermined target. Additionally, meetings will be held annually on performance to the target and actions that will be developed in association with health care entities to limit spending growth while improving health care quality and access.
“Reducing the costs of health care for small businesses and Rhode Island families is more important now than ever before,” Governor McKee said. “The Health Spending Accountability and Transparency Program is essential for finding innovative and effective solutions to making health care affordable for all Rhode Islanders. The Health Spending Accountability and Transparency Program is consistent with my Rhode Island 2030 priorities to support small businesses through more affordable premiums and less burdensome out-of-pocket health care costs for their employees and promoting conditions supportive of investments in public health and wellness.”
“Many of us share the same concern over rising healthcare costs – an issue obviously made worse by the pandemic,” Lt. Governor Sabina Matos said. “The Health Spending Accountability and Transparency Program will allow us the opportunity to look holistically at the system, analyze data, and tailor solutions to help Rhode Islanders access affordable and quality healthcare.”
“Rhode Island has made significant progress in containing health care costs in recent years, but despite these efforts the cost of health care is still a burden to many Rhode Island working families,” Health Insurance Commissioner Patrick Tigue said. “This program provides our state with a critical opportunity to find and address the key health care cost growth drivers and translate those findings into innovative solutions to lower health care costs for consumers. The effects of the pandemic and concurrent changes in our economy will place increasing upward pressure on health care costs for years to come. It is now more important than ever that we establish a program to hold health care entities accountable for cost growth to ensure that working families enjoy access to affordable, high-quality health care.”
The three main goals of this program are to understand what causes spending growth, holding providers and insurers accountable for cost growth, and lessen the impact of rising health costs.