Gov. John Carney, on Nov. 20, signed Executive Order No. 25 establishing health care spending and quality benchmarks.
This executive order will form a subcommittee of the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council to focus on reducing the cost of health care for Delaware families, taxpayers and businesses. The subcommittee will advise DEFAC and other relevant state agencies on spending and will work with the Delaware Health Care Commission on improving the quality of health care in Delaware.
“Delaware has consistently ranked among the highest-spending states for health care, but we have not traditionally been a leader in health care outcomes. That needs to change,” said Carney. “This executive order reaffirms our commitment to lowering costs for Delaware families and improving the quality of care that Delawareans receive. We’ll do that, first and foremost, by improving transparency around the cost of health care services.”
In addition to setting the state’s health care spending benchmark for 2019 and beyond, the new subcommittee will consistently review its methodology and provide the public and interested stakeholders an opportunity to provide input and consider their recommendations.
This executive order also lays out quality benchmarks for the state for calendar years 2019-21 for the Delaware Health Care Commission to follow in the categories of emergency department utilization rate; opioid-related overdose deaths; overlapping opioid and benzodiazepine prescriptions; adult obesity; adult tobacco use; high school students who were physically active; statin therapy for patients with cardiovascular disease; and persistence of beta-blocker treatment after a heart attack.
These quality benchmarks will be reviewed every three years, starting after 2022, to reflect improved health care performance in the state.
“I am grateful to all of the health care stakeholders for the work they have done to change how care is delivered and paid for in our state,” said DHSS Secretary Kara Odom Walker. “As a state, we must address the cost of health care and the outcomes we are getting for that spending. The executive order that Gov. Carney signed adds transparency and attention to our health care system, both from a spending and a quality standpoint. Today is an important milestone in moving toward a health care system that is financial sustainable for families, employers, providers and insurers, and one that rewards providers for keeping Delawareans healthy.”
This executive order was based on recommendations from Walker in August, after a year of outreach and feedback from health stakeholders. Walker will publish a manual that contains the methodology for the health care spending and quality benchmarks no later than Jan. 31, 2019.
“For more than four decades, the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council has played a vital, nonpartisan role in tracking national and state economic trends and preparing credible and trusted state revenue and expenditure estimates,” said Secretary of Finance Rick Geisenberger. “This executive order creates a DEFAC Health Care Spending Benchmark Subcommittee that will solicit public and stakeholder input toward recommending a credible and trusted annual target for per capita growth of total health care costs in Delaware.”