Health care costs 'not sustainable'

Article Date: Jun 28, 2013

Richard A. Hachten, II CEO, Alegent Creighton Health
Richard A. Hachten, II
CEO, Alegent Creighton Health

The U.S. health care system would have to change with or without the Affordable Care Act because it costs too much and produces inadequate results, the chief executive officer of Alegent Creighton Health told an Omaha group Thursday.

The nation two years ago spent $2.7 trillion, or about 18 percent of its Gross Domestic Product, on health care, Richard Hachten said. That far exceeds medical expenditures by most other industrialized nations, he said, and Americans as a whole aren't comparatively healthy. That, he said, is largely because 40 million or more don't have health insurance.

Hachten told about 100 members of the Association for Corporate Growth Nebraska that his health care system had anticipated change without federal prodding and is engaged in ways to monitor patients so they don't return to the hospital. It also is preparing for a shift in payments to hospitals and providers, in which they increasingly will be reimbursed for quality care and not for the number of procedures done.

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