Utah Foundation’s October 2006 report examines data and trends on healthcare costs and coverage for Utah and the nation. Data show an increase in Utah’s uninsured population, partly caused by rising insurance costs and the resulting difficulties for employers trying to provide health coverage to workers.
This report reviews national studies on the factors driving healthcare inflation. The report also provides the findings of focus groups conducted by Utah Foundation with business people, insurers, hospital managers, and physicians. These focus groups provided valuable insight on Utah’s unique healthcare challenges and ideas for reform. According to those focus groups, reforms should focus on limiting defensive medicine and overutilization, promoting healthier lifestyles, making better information available on quality and costs, incentives for greater quality, and other efforts to make coverage more affordable and promote wider coverage.
This research project was undertaken at the request of the Employers Healthcare Coalition, a group formed by members of the Salt Lake Chamber. Part two of this two-part series will provide an analysis conducted for the Employers Healthcare Coalition of five healthcare reform ideas selected after review of the findings of this report.
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