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Data Shows Program is Working as Planned
Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Hospital Association (NHHA) released a report today showing the positive impact that the New Hampshire Health Protection Plan (NHHPP), the bipartisan approach to extending private health insurance coverage to more low-income, uninsured residents in New Hampshire that was adopted last year, is already having by reducing the number of people seeking care in hospital emergency rooms. From data reported to the NHHA by its member hospitals, hospitals saw a reduction of those seeking care in the emergency room without insurance of 17% statewide.
According to NHHA president Steve Ahnen, “What this data shows us is that the New Hampshire Health Protection Plan is working by reducing the costs that businesses and those of us with insurance pay to care for those who have no insurance or way of paying for their care. That “hidden tax,” estimated at over $425 million last year, drives up the cost of health insurance premiums and the cost of health care for everyone.”
The Association’s report notes that those seeking care without insurance as inpatients or in hospital outpatient departments also declined, 16% and 8% respectively. These reductions in inpatient, outpatient and emergency department visits come at a time when the number of people seeking care in those three settings has remained relatively constant, thus highlighting the dramatic shift in the number of uninsured in New Hampshire.
Henry Lipman, the Chairman of the Association’s Board of Trustees and Senior Vice President of Financial Strategies & External Relations at LRGHeatlhcare in Laconia, NH, noted that, “If we are going to truly bend the cost curve in health care, it’s absolutely essential that patients are able to get the right care, at the right time, in the right place. Having health insurance is key to making that happen because we know that those without insurance don’t get the kind of primary, preventive care that study after study shows is critical to improving the health of individuals, and lowering the cost of health care across the system that will benefit patients, businesses and the state budget.”
The NHHPP is currently slated to cease by the end of 2016, but the Association believes that reauthorization of the NHHPP will result in more Granite Staters having access to the type of primary, preventive care, decrease the amount of uncompensated care provided by hospitals, health centers, doctors and others, and reduce cost shifting and hidden taxes.
Click here to read the he Association’s report.