Transforming Hawaii’s healthcare system is an urgent need, with costs rising several times faster than the annual inflation rate and access to quality care uneven throughout our state, particularly in rural communities and on the Neighbor Islands. While Hawaii ranks high nationally in several measures of health, our fragmented, volume-driven system leaves many groups and communities disproportionately vulnerable to preventable diseases and a general poor quality of health.
The Hawaii Healthcare Project seeks solutions to the unsustainable increases in the cost of healthcare that result from fragmented, uncoordinated care.
The Hawaii Healthcare Project is working to transform Hawaii’s healthcare system to meet the needs of Hawaii’s families. Over the past decade, the growth of healthcare costs wiped out the real income gains of a typical American family. If healthcare costs had simply grown at the same rate as inflation, this would have put an extra $5,400 in the pockets of the average family over the course of a year.
Think about all the different ways your family could have benefited from having that money at your disposal.
The Hawaii Healthcare Project operates according to the belief that transforming the healthcare system will mitigate the cost of healthcare, which is increasing at an unsustainable rate. In the last 10 years, U.S. spending on healthcare doubled, from $1.3 trillion to $2.6 trillion a year. The figure is expected to reach an eye-popping $4.6 trillion in 2020, at which point, per-capita spending on healthcare will exceed $13,000 a year.
Today, healthcare accounts for about 18 cents of every dollar Americans spend. Every year, healthcare expenditures increase an average of 6.2 percent. In 2009, Hawaii spent $8.8 billion on healthcare, which is more than 13 percent of the state’s total economy.
Even with the Affordable Care Act in place, that number is expected to continue to grow, and, if nothing is done, healthcare costs threaten to derail the entire economy. (Kaiser/HRET Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits, Kaiser Family Foundation, 2009.)
“We are excited to be at the cusp of important transformations to health care. Special initiatives are needed to ensure that patients living in poverty, often developing chronic diseases at young ages, are guaranteed access through a health care system that provides comprehensive, wellness-based and culturally-responsive care."
“The cost of healthcare in Hawaii continues to increase every year, which cripples so many local families – some of them can barely keep their heads above water. As a small business owner, this increase, along with the high cost of fuel, electricity and taxes makes it challenging to do business in Hawaii. We need change now.”
“To really improve the health of our population and the way care is delivered, we need a healthcare system that rewards physicians for positive outcomes rather than the number of patients they treat.”