scott blog

On cost, quality & transparency

By Scott Kreiling, President, Regence BlueShield of Idaho | August 13, 2015

A newly released report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) confirms what most us already know all too well – health care costs are continuing to rise, and at a faster rate than our household incomes. At a time when average wage increases are running around 3 percent a year, the CMS says it projects that national health spending grew 5.5 percent in 2014 and is on pace to grow 5.8 percent this year. That rate of increase is projected to continue through 2024.

As a nonprofit health insurer, committed to being tireless advocates for our members, we think it’s time to take a stand against ever-increasing health care costs. We also think it’s reasonable to ask that health care providers agree to tie their annual “raises” to the quality of their performance – just as all of us who work for a living have to. Finally, we think it’s time to bring some transparency to the health care sector. When you shop for a car, clothes, groceries or even your health insurance, you can comparison shop – and know what you’ll be paying up front. Shouldn’t you have that same consumer-friendly experience when you shop for health care services – particularly the more costly procedures typically performed in hospitals?

As consumers, regardless of what good or service we’re seeking, we expect costs to be reasonable and quality to come standard. And anything less than clear upfront pricing just isn’t acceptable. Most hospitals and other health care providers across Idaho are working hard to keep their rates reasonable and have committed to work with us to tie their reimbursement from us to national quality standards. They’ve also embraced the importance of cost transparency.

An early August example of this is Northwest Specialty Hospital’s agreement to partner with Regence on a new Value-based Reimbursement model. The model ties hospital “pay” to its performance against four quality measures. Frankly, we’re honored that north Idaho’s only “five-star” rated hospital has committed to work so closely with us to respond to health care consumers’ legitimate desires for reasonable costs, high quality and transparency.

Share:

Recent posts

CCC-bend-1

Join Regence for the 38th annual Cascade Cycling Classic

By Andrew Over
July 13, 2017
The Cascade Cycling Classic is the longest consecutively run elite stage race in the country and is now in its 38th year. We have a long-standing commitment to Bend, and love seeing the community come alive every July during the Classic, when nearly 10,000 spectators gather in the tight-knit community to cheer on the participants
HTC-Regence-WA-2017

Hood to Coast Washington 2017: Teamwork, community and values

By Regence
July 06, 2017
This blog is a guest post from Leslie Constans, a Regence employee and relay team member in the innaugural Hood to Coast Washington 2017. Leslie shares her reflections on the race, the local communities, and the teamwork that the race inspired.
ThinkstockPhotos-542314172

Overusing antibiotics: What are the consequences?

By Regence
June 21, 2017
Dr. Mark Hiatt is an Executive Medical Director for Regence. Every week he takes to the air waves and delivers timely, relevant health information directly to consumers through his radio segment, Medical Moment. In this post, we share highlights from one of his recent segments on the overuse of antibiotics.