Total Costs of Care

Several states have adopted policies that focus on measuring and setting a growth rate target for total cost of care. By looking at the cost performance across all payers of the system as a whole or a particular set of services such as hospital care, these states hope to facilitate delivery system reform.

At the request of several states, the Fund launched a project in 2015 to assess and document methods that states use to set a rate of growth target for total cost of care measures. The Fund’s initial report looks at four states as models for this activity—and assesses how they are going about this work. How are they documenting costs, projecting growth rates, and setting targets?

In addition to tracking the original states’ work, additional states are developing policies and technical capacity for health care cost measurement. The Fund continues to facilitate state-to-state interaction on this topic to enhance collaborative learning for both the states involved in the project and others states considering this policy activity.

Another focus for the Fund is developing and supporting the use of measures for primary care spending.  These measures will strengthen the evidence base for primary care and inform national and state policy activities. The Fund will continue to work with policymakers and stakeholders to advance this work.