08 December 2009

Health Care in West Virginia

A new study presented to the Legislature on Monday concludes that "West Virginia's health care system could save over $1.1 billion by going digital and centralizing patient care," The Associated Press reports.

CCRC Actuaries prepared the report for the state Health Care Authority, aided by an array the system's public and private players.

The touted savings "would be seen not just by government agencies, but by private insurers and policyholders, who could benefit directly in the form of lower premiums," AP's Tom Breen writes. "The report should lend urgency to some initiatives that have already begun, like electronic medical records and prescriptions, according to the groups behind its creation."

The Charleston Gazette puts the study's offer of yearly savings at $2.2 billion by citing its discussion of an"aggressive expansion of Medicaid and other health reforms," beginning in 2014.

The Charleston Daily Mail focuses on the projected rise of health care costs "from $13 billion this year to $24 billion in 2019," adding that "the federal government will pay about 30 percent of those costs, policy holders will pay 26 percent and insurers 27 percent. The state and charity care together nearly split the remaining 15 percent."

The latter article offers an estimated annual savings figure of $3 billion, starting in 2019.

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