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WellPoint Institute of Health Care Knowledge Releases Report on Health Care Costs
Date:5/27/2009

insurance companies. Contrary to public opinion, which puts health insurers' profitability at somewhere between twenty-five and forty percent, PricewaterhouseCoopers confirms that in truth is only three cents of every health care premium dollar is spent on health insurer profit. This is less than the 2008 profit of 4.9 percent reported to Reuters by auto and truck manufacturers, the 4.8 percent reported by health care facilities, or the 4.7 percent reported by utility companies.

"We are all working toward the common goal of meaningful and responsible health care reform," Nussbaum said. "For this to occur and be sustainable, we should focus on the main drivers of health care costs. Independent of funding, we need to institute reforms that improve health care quality and outcomes, increase preventive care and reduce those common illnesses, including cardiac disease and diabetes and chronic lung disease, that result from smoking, lifestyle and obesity."

According to the Institute's report, newer medical technologies tend to increase prices because they are generally more expensive than the older technologies they replace. While the availability of more advanced, superior technologies can yield better results for some patients, these technologies and diagnostic tests can be used inappropriately in some situations where existing, older technologies are more effective and accurate.

"We have learned over time that newer technologies do not always produce better health outcomes," Nussbaum continued. "We need to focus on outcomes and delivering better quality care and apply the breathtaking advances in technology and treatment when they produce better patient care. The wise application of these expensive new therapies will result in more affordable health care for all Americans."

The WellPoint Institute of Health Care Knowledge was established with the belief that intimately understanding the factors impac
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SOURCE WellPoint, Inc.
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