Health compact deal is good first step for R.I.

With the signing of the Compact to Reduce the Growth of Health Care Costs and State Health Care Spending in Rhode Island, 13 insurers, hospital systems, trade organizations and state agencies have taken an important first step in getting control of that most out-of-control expense, health care costs.

Starting with a statistical analysis of the state’s all-payer claims database, which was designed to help “identify health care cost savings, health care quality and health outcome opportunities,” a team at Brown University will set a baseline for comparing future years to current spending patterns.

The project hopes to build on successes in health care achieved already in Rhode Island, including one of the lowest uninsured rates in the nation, as well as among the lowest commercial health insurance premium rates. But more needs to be done, as health care costs continue to consume a larger percentage of the nation’s economy every day.

This will take much work and time to produce results, but it is a good first step to set a public goal and focus attention on this issue.

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