Source: Health Policy Institute of Ohio
The COVID-19 pandemic could reduce health care costs nationwide by up to $575 billion in 2020, according to a new report by a national consulting and actuarial firm (Source: “COVID-19 Could Cut Health Care Costs by Up To $575B,” BenefitsPro, April 28, 2020).
Analysts from Seattle-based Milliman Inc., said that the lingering health crisis caused by the novel coronavirus was leading patients to put off elective procedures, in a trend that would “dwarf” the added costs of COVID-19 testing and treatment.
The study, titled “Estimating the Financial Impact of COVID-19 on 2020 Health Care Costs,” found that deferred care would result in a net reduction of $140 billion and $375 billion in health care costs through the end of June. The total reduction at year’s end would ultimately depend on pent-up demand as procedures resume in the second half of 2020, but a second wave of infections could push that number as high as $575 billion, the report said.
“While the testing and treatment of COVID-19 patients is increasing health care costs across the country, these expenses are dwarfed by the cost reductions resulting from the deferral of nearly all elective care and other care that can be delayed,” said Doug Norris, principal and consulting actuary.