Medical Billing Blog

State and Local Governments Spend 31.5% on Healthcare

Posted by Scott Shatzman on Tue, Feb, 04, 2014 @ 11:02 AM

The Affordable Care Act was supposed to stem the rapidly rising cost of healthcare in the United States. While costs have continued to rise since the ACA’s passage in 2010, the rate has slowed dramatically. Early indicators suggest that the growth rate of total healthcare spending in the US was only 4% in 2012. This is an improvement when looking at the aggregate expenditures, unfortunately, for state and local governments, the cost curve has not had any form of reduction. According to CMS and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, state and local governments spent 31.5% of their budgets on healthcare costs in 2012. That represents an 8 percent increase over the previous year, or a rate twice as fast as the national rate of increase. This increase is largely due in part to the stimulus bill passed by Congress in 2009. The American recovery and Reinvestment Act granted more than $100 billion to states to cover increasing Medicaid costs, which had ballooned during the recession as high unemployment drove job-seekers to the government run health program. During this period, even though Medicaid saw increased participants, overall state spending on Mediciad actually fell. However, the federal stimulus money would not last forever and State Mediciad expenditures rose 22 percent between 2010 and 2011, and another 15 percent in 2012. The Government Accountability Office says health-care spending represents the single greatest threat to state and local government long-term health. 

Read More

Verifying Patient Coverage in a Health Insurance Marketplace Plan

Posted by Scott Shatzman on Wed, Jan, 08, 2014 @ 14:01 PM

Beginning January 1, 2014, providers will be verifying their patient’s insurance status when they show up for their appointments. Many of these patients may be newly insured individuals who will be getting their health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, also known as Health Insurance Exchange.   

Read More

MBR Explains: Quality Improvements - Key Features of the Affordable Care Act by Year -- 2010

Posted by Scott Shatzman on Thu, Nov, 21, 2013 @ 07:11 AM

Continuing our series on the key features of the Affordable Care Act, we will now look into the changes that took effect in 2010 that sought to improve quality and lower cost of healthcare. As previously mentioned, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010. The law aims to increase the quality and affordability of health insurance, lower the uninsured rate, and reduce the costs of healthcare for individuals and the government. However, a number of the mechanisms – mandates, subsidies, and insurance exchanges – are to be rolled out over four years and beyond. Below is an overview of some of the key quality improvement provisions that took effect in 2010.

Read More

MBR Explains: Coverage - Key Features of the Affordable Care Act by Year -- 2010

Posted by Scott Shatzman on Tue, Nov, 19, 2013 @ 10:11 AM


Read More

MBR Explains: President Obama’s New Plan for Canceled Health Policies

Posted by Scott Shatzman on Fri, Nov, 15, 2013 @ 08:11 AM

Late morning on Thursday, November, 14th, President Obama proposed a plan to allow insures to extend policies that existed on October 1st to existing customers through the end of 2014. In the majority of cases, these plans are less expensive policies, but offer none of the new essential benefits that are guaranteed under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Before any cancellation notice was ever sent out, the writers of the PP-ACA included a ‘grandfathered’ clause in the original law. Even though they did not meet the law’s standards, if they were purchased before March 2010 and neither the policy holder nor the insurer made any substantial changes, it was legal for the policy to be sold. On Thursday, the President expanded the net of policies that fall under this clause.

Read More

Comparing Healthcare Spending Across Nations

Posted by Scott Shatzman on Tue, Oct, 29, 2013 @ 08:10 AM

As a country, the United States spend more per capita on health care than any other OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) country. We have one of the highest growth rates in health care spending in the world. The share of the economy devoted to healthcare increased from 7.2% in 1970 to 17.9% in 2009 and 2010. However, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, along with a weak economy, has slowed down healthcare spending to historic lows in recent years. We are innovating new ways to reduce costs, improve health, and distangle the healthcare bureaucracy daily. But more needs to be done.  Thanks to the people at, we have our healthcare spending story in an easy to follow infographic. Compare how we spend our healthcare funds against other countries while exploring all of the new incentives companies are taking to improve wellness for our working citizenry. 

Read More