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Gov. Carney signs executive order for health care spending benchmark

Delaware Public Media

Gov. John Carney issued an executive order Tuesday to put into place a health care spending benchmark for the First State.

The order is based on recommendations made by Delaware’s Health and Social Services Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker back in August after months of consideration from multiple advisory groups.

Health care currently takes up a third of the state’s budget and is growing faster than its economy. The benchmark calls for payers and providers in the First State to align health care spending with the growth of per capita gross state product—an economic measurement relating to the rate of inflation.

Walker calls this a bold step forward.

“We’ve been a very high spending state over time, and we’ve not necessarily had the health outcomes that we would like for that amount of spending. So this is very exciting to move forward,” said Walker.

The benchmark will not penalize payers or providers for not reaching the goals.

“There are no penalties. There is no cap. There is no spending threshold," said Walker. "It really is how do we track whether we’re improving health care spending and improving health care quality in the state.”

The benchmark also includes quality measures to monitor the overall health of specific populations in the state.

The Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC) will oversee the first year of benchmark spending to see if the state is meeting its goals and whether or not any changes need to be made to the benchmark.

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