Governor Carney Signs Legislation Creating Diamond State Hospital Review Board Aimed at Tackling Rising Health Care Costs

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Governor John Carney today signed House Substitute 2 for House Bill 350, creating the Diamond State Hospital Review Board. Governor Carney says rising health care costs are having a significant impact on Delaware families and state taxpayers. He says the bill will help lower the growth of health care costs in Delaware, while making sure health care quality and access are protected. The review board is a group of seven healthcare quality experts – appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate plus the head of the Delaware Healthcare Association – tasked with ensuring that Delaware’s largest hospitals align their pricing within annual benchmarks set by the state.

Additional Information from the State of Delaware:

“Rising health care costs are having a significant impact on Delaware families and state taxpayers, and we’ve been committed to addressing this since the start of my time as Governor,” said Governor Carney. “House Bill 350 will help lower the growth of health care costs in our state, while making sure we’re protecting health care quality and access. I want to thank the hospital systems, members of the General Assembly – particularly Speaker Longhurst and Senator Townsend – and the Department of Health and Social Services for collaborating on this important piece of legislation that will make a positive impact on Delawareans.”

“Healthcare costs have gone unchecked in our state for far too long, placing an ever-increasing strain on the budgets of hardworking families and constraining the growth potential of our small businesses,” said House Speaker Valerie Longhurst. “With the signing of HB 350 today, we have taken a monumental step in getting these prices under control while bringing much needed transparency to our state’s hospital pricing process. Thank you to Governor Carney for your quick action in signing this legislation into law. I look forward to seeing the work of the Diamond State Hospital Cost Review Board.”

A hospital that exceeds the benchmark will be required to submit a performance improvement plan that details specific strategies, adjustments and next steps proposed by the hospital to rein in costs, along with a timetable for implementation, allowing hospitals to adjust their own costs without additional state intervention.

“This legislation is a major breakthrough for small businesses and working families in Delaware, who for years have been paying more for healthcare than people in nearly every other state,” said Senate Majority Leader Bryan Townsend. “By bending the curve of spiraling healthcare costs, we are helping Delawareans make ends meet in their own family budgets, while ensuring that the hospital systems they depend on can continue to provide the same level of quality care. Speaker Longhurst, David Bentz at DHSS, and Governor Carney deserve a ton of credit for their unwavering commitment to creating a framework that will ensure our communities get the healthcare they need at prices they can afford.”

“This groundbreaking legislation is a key step toward creating transparency around hospital costs and spending,” said Josette Manning, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services. “This bill will help Delaware’s health care and government leaders make more informed decisions as we work together to improve health care and contain the rising costs that burden Delawareans and limit access to quality care.”


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