Most state legislatures have adjourned after busy sessions focused on addressing the COVID-19 public health emergency. Nonetheless, lawmakers introduced over 200 bills to curb health system costs. Eighteen states and DC enacted 28 laws in 2021, with different strategies and frameworks to reign in rising healthcare costs in the United States.
Making the Case for Action
Health care costs continue to grow at rates that outpace overall economic growth, squeezing out other state spending priorities and impacting consumers’ out of pocket spending for both coverage and care. State policymakers are called upon to address rising health care costs as payers, insurance regulators, and stewards of consumer protection, while considering that the health system provides needed care and many jobs. NASHP is working to identify the cost drivers in the health system and share strategies that focus on price and cost in order to provide effective cost-containment policy options to states.
- Slide Deck:Understanding the Health Care Cost Conundrum in 2020, October 12, 2020.
- NASHP Blog: How States Can Advance Health Equity while Addressing Health System Costs, September 28, 2020,
- Trish Riley, NASHP Executive Director, in Health Affairs: Can The Health Care Cost Trajectory Be Tamed? States’ Leaders Tackle The Cost Conundrum, November 1, 2018.
- Presentation: Health Care Consolidation and Market Trends presented by Erin Fuse Brown, JD, assistant professor at Georgia State University’s School of Law, and faculty member of its Center for Law, Health, and Society, at NASHP’s annual health policy conference in August 2018.
- Presentation: Health Care Costs presented by Larry Levitt, Executive Vice President for Health Policy, Kaiser Family Foundation, at NASHP’s annual health policy conference in August 2018.
The National Academy for State Health Policy’s (NASHP) Hospital Cost Tool uses information from annual Medicare cost reports that are completed by hospitals and submitted to the federal government to provide health care purchasers and regulators with critical information to better understand hospital costs – versus their charges.
Rampant consolidation in nearly every state has created dominant health care systems that can use anticompetitive contracting practices to charge supracompetitive prices, especially to commercial insurance plans.
Model Act Summary: This model legislation targets health insurance contract terms that have been used by health systems to impede competition and increase prices. In particular, this model act prohibits the use of most-favored-nation clauses, anti-steering clauses, anti-tiering clauses, all-or-nothing clauses, and gag clauses in contracts between health insurers and health care providers. The prohibition […]
Family members provide significant amounts of care to relatives with complex needs, including those who are Medicaid enrollees.