At the request of two Wisconsin congressmen, the General Accounting Office will study what factors are driving healthcare costs in Milwaukee and surrounding areas, where, the lawmakers say, large employers’ healthcare costs are 40% greater than in nearby Chicago. Reps. Thomas Barrett, a Democrat, and Paul Ryan, a Republican, sought the study, saying healthcare cost growth in southeast Wisconsin is out of line with growth in the rest of the country. The GAO will examine several possible contributing factors, including cost of living, demographics, employers’ purchasing arrangements, managed-care penetration, Medicare and Medicaid payment levels, service utilization, state laws and the supply of providers, a spokeswoman said. The GAO will begin the study soon, she said.
Milwaukee-area health costs subject of GAO review
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