If you haven't seen it yet, don't miss AWB's latest issue report focusing on health care and the impact of new reforms on businesses in Washington state.
The report was issued last week during AWB's health care forum in Bellevue. About 200 AWB members representing small, medium and large businesses from around the state gathered to hear health care policy experts discuss the early implications of both the new federal health care law and Washington state's new Health Benefit Exchange.
The report, “The State of Health Care in Washington State,” reveals an industry that’s vital to the state’s economy and yet one that’s facing numerous challenges, including a thicket of regulation, skyrocketing costs and a looming workforce shortage.
It’s the second in a series of reports from AWB and its nonprofit affiliate, the AWB Institute, examining the health of various Washington industry sectors. It is the result of a two-month listening tour conducted this spring with health care-related employers throughout the state.
Key trends identified in the report include:
- Over-regulation is driving health-care employers to dedicate staff to regulatory compliance, detracting from patient care.
- Costs are out of control for a variety of reasons, including inadequate reimbursement from federal programs, an increase in uncompensated care, fraudulent billing practices, defensive medicine, and a lack of knowledge on the part of consumers.
- A workforce shortage — postponed by the weak economy — is looming as the aging of the baby boomer generation leads to more retirements and an increase in demand for health care services.