Study Shows Health Care Reform Will Spark Cost Increases, But Improve Efficiency

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Professionals at health care organizations nationwide believe health care reform will spark increases in health care costs, but anticipate that the latter will be tempered by enhanced access to care as well as improved organizational efficiency. This is among findings of the Health Care Reform Readiness Survey conducted by Buck Consultants, a Xerox Company subsidiary that offers human resource and benefits consulting services. Specifically, 75% of 200 respondents to the survey say health care costs will increase due to health care reform, with 43% expecting the increase to be significant. Patients will benefit most from health care reform, participants contend, and challenges exist for employer health plans and hospital systems. Most expect the quality of health care to improve or remain the same over the next five years. Additionally, more than 90% percent of respondents intend, through higher employee contributions to health plans or by reducing plan coverage, to pass some of the additional costs to their employees. Nonetheless, 57% claim they will not consider eliminating health plan coverage for their employees, and 48% percent want to improve employee health by increasing wellness initiatives. In an equally significant vein, respondents report plans to meet health care reform’s increased access to care by focusing more on cooperation and collaboration around patient care (84%), taking steps to reduce patient re-admissions (74%), using electronic health records (85%), using evidence-based or predictive-modeling technology tools (66%), and creating an accountable care organization, or ACO (43%). Other plans include assessing IT requirements (82%), implementing quality measures for physicians (69%), developing an integrated network (60%), and developing medical home services (40%). For additional survey results, click here:,