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DHSS Press Release

Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498

Date: January 23, 2018


DOVER, Del. - Governor John Carney and the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) relaunched ChooseHealthDE on Tuesday to include information and resources about healthcare spending in Delaware, strategies to slow its growth and actions to better connect that spending to the health outcomes of Delawareans.

DHSS first launched ChooseHealthDE in 2013 as an information resource for people learning about coverage options through Delaware's new Health Insurance Marketplace. Today, the website is expanding to include information for individuals and families, employers, healthcare providers and legislators about the value of healthcare and how to reduce the growth of spending while better linking payments to health outcomes.

"As I said last week in my State of the State, we are spending too much money on healthcare without getting good enough results. Now is the time to change the way we deliver care in our state," said Governor Carney. "To help us understand our overall spending, we need transparency on healthcare costs. With ChooseHealthDE , we are taking another step in providing more transparency for individuals, families, employers, providers and legislators on how we spend our healthcare dollars and what we can do to change that trajectory."

On Sept. 7, 2017, the Governor signed legislation authorizing DHSS to consult with stakeholders to establish a healthcare spending benchmark as a way to evaluate the total cost of healthcare in the state. Delaware ranked No. 3 in the nation in per-capita healthcare spending in 2014 - the latest year data is available - according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The CMS analysis of all insurance payers - Medicare, Medicaid and private - found per-capita spending in Delaware was $10,254, about 27 percent higher than the U.S. average of $8,045. Without changes, the analysis estimates Delaware's total healthcare spending will more than double from $9.5 billion in 2014 to $21.5 billion in 2025. According to America's Health Rankings, Delaware ranks No. 30 for overall health.

"In the move to value-based healthcare, the healthcare spending benchmark is a starting point," said DHSS Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker, a board-certified family physician. "Working with hospitals and other healthcare providers, we need to transition to a point where we pay for the optimal health of consumers, rather than for hospital stays, tests and procedures, regardless of outcomes. Our goal of lowering costs while improving the overall health of Delawareans will take participation and input from all of us. ChooseHealthDE gives us a common portal from which to continue this work."

ChooseHealthDE is divided into two sections: the Health Insurance Marketplace and the healthcare spending benchmark. In the new healthcare spending benchmark section, the site is divided among four target audiences: individuals and families, employers, healthcare providers and legislators. Each audience segment has strategies for success and a downloadable toolkit. A news and events section will provide details about upcoming events, legislation and reports, and public comment periods. A link to the Delaware Health Care Commission website provides background on previous events and reports associated with the healthcare spending benchmark.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.