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Delaware Releases First Health Care Benchmark Trend Report for 2019

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The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services released the state’s first Benchmark Trend Report, summarizing health care spending and quality data collected for calendar year 2019. The report is the latest step in the state’s effort to reduce health care spending and improve quality of care for Delawareans.

The Benchmark Trend Report details total health care spending for 2019 and compares it to baseline data collected for 2018. In late 2018, Governor John Carney signed Executive Order 25, establishing a state health care spending benchmark, a per-annum rate-of-growth benchmark for health care spending, and several health care quality measures. The first spending benchmark went into effect on Jan. 1, 2019, and was set at 3.8%, with the target expected to decrease gradually to 3% over the following three years. For calendar year 2019, the report found overall health care spending in Delaware totaled $8.2 billion vs. $7.6 billion for 2018.

The report also provided results on six health care quality measures; Delaware improved on two measures, split on one measure, and worsened on three others:

  1. Improved: Adult tobacco use, Statin therapy for patients with cardiovascular disease.
  2. Split: Persistence of beta-blocker treatment after a heart attack.
  3. Worsened: Adult obesity, Opioid-related overdose deaths, Emergency department utilization.

The Delaware Health Care Commission previously collected spending data from calendar year 2018 to provide a preliminary basis for calculating the state’s health care spending performance and to serve as a baseline for the 2019 spending growth calculations. The 2018 baseline data collection also allowed the state’s health insurers and the DHCC to test payers’ data-submission methods and identify areas for improvement.

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