High Deductible Plans Accelerate – Kaiser Health News

I wonder whether out of pocket spending for mental health services has gone up or down with high-deductible health coverage. More research to come. But for now, a look at how “consumer-directed” health care is affecting overall consumer spending for health care:

“I’ve heard of nothing but acceleration” of employers into consumer-directed health insurance, said Roy Ramthun, a benefits consultant who was a senior health policy advisor in President George W. Bush’s administration. “More local units of government, school districts and even some union plans are starting to move more aggressively into these areas.”

via Who Knew? Patients’ Share Of Health Spending Is Shrinking – Kaiser Health News.

High Deductible Health Plans Causing Less Use of Hospital and More Bad Debt from Patients

This article explains how 31 people are being laid off from a hospital in Keene, New Hampshire, due to a number of factors including less reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid and problems stemming from high deductible health plans:

Hospital officials said in December recent trends toward high-deductible health insurance plans have apparently led to increases in outstanding bad debt, which includes unpaid patient bills, and also to reductions in the public’s use of some medical services. The number of patients, which at the hospital averages more than 30 filled beds at any one time, is down, and demand for outpatient services is also off.

Link to the Article.