Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Delaware health care spending increases more than twice its benchmark goal

[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The state recently released the first data related to its Healthcare Spending Benchmark and it shows the cost of care continues to escalate in the First State.    

Delaware’s Health Care Spending Benchmark was created by an executive order from Gov. John Carney in 2018. It seeks to provide spending transparency from all payers and providers and reduce the state’s total year-over-year spending increase per capita—first to less than 3.8 percent and the to 3 percent over a few years. 

The new report shows spending per capita increased by 7.8 percent in 2019—more than double the goal. 

Delaware Department of Health and Social Services Sec. Molly Magarik notes the increase was seen in each of the report’s subcategories. 

“It was up across the board so it, again I think, underscores and really is a call to action that we have to take comprehensive steps to bring our health care costs and make the health care spending be in better alignment with economic growth,” said Magarik.

Spending among physicians, in hospitals, pharmacies and long term care facilities each increased by more than $1 billion in Delaware from 2018 to 2019.     

But Magarik still applauds the data collection effort as a valuable tool going forward.

“That was really one of the impetuses behind the benchmark was that we would have Delaware data,” she said. “So as we were making these tough decisions about what to do, we weren’t extrapolated from a larger thing.”     

The report also includes several quality health metrics showing mixed results. It says fewer adult Delawareans were smokers in 2019, but there was a higher obesity rate and a higher rate of overdose deaths. 

Delaware ranked 7th highest nationally in per-capita healthcare spending in 2015, according to USA Today.

The state is accepting public comment on its first benchmark report through Friday.

Related Content