Delaware ranks 3rd highest per capita in health-care spending, with per capita health-care costs more than 27 percent above the U.S. average, behind only Alaska and Massachusetts. In response, in February 2018, Governor John Carney (D) signed an executive order to form an advisory group to set a benchmark that would help slow the state’s rising health care costs. The executive order comes five months after the passage of HJR 7 that gave DHSS authority to establish a benchmark that would link the growth rate of health-care spending to the state’s rate of economic growth.
In the 2017-2018 legislative session, Delaware introduced several legislation aimed at controlling prescription drug costs. Most notably, the legislature passed HB 425, a legislation that prevents pharmacist gag clause and allows substitution of therapeutically equivalent drugs to provide lower-cost alternatives for consumers.
The State Database
The Source tracks state activities impacting healthcare price and competition in both legislation and litigation in a searchable database to help stakeholders at the state level understand their legal and regulatory environment as they make efforts to improve access, quality, and efficiency, and reduce costs in healthcare.
LEGISLATION: The Database of State Laws Impacting Healthcare Cost and Quality (SLIHCQ), created by The Source on Healthcare Price & Competition and Catalyst for Payment Reform, catalogues state legislation governing price transparency, provider market power, provider payment, provider networks, and benefit design. The database also includes pharmaceutical legislation beginning in the 2017-2018 legislative session. *Note: Current legislative session bill updates are ongoing. Check back weekly for updates.
LITIGATION: The Source tracks major litigation and antitrust enforcement action by federal entities (FTC or DOJ), state attorney generals, and private parties in the main provider and insurer markets, particularly legal challenges of healthcare consolidation and anticompetitive contract provisions. Additionally, the database contains major pharmaceutical cases including legislation challenges and significant appellate cases.
Search the database across all jurisdictions on the State Overview page, or view and filter existing legislation or litigation on individual state pages. The database allows customized search and filter by keyword, status, and/or key issue category. *Multiple filter/selections enabled. Click here for User Guide.
LEGISLATIVE CALENDARDelaware’s current legislative session runs from 1/8/2019 – 1/14/2020. Bills from 2019 will carry over to 2020 as part of the 2019-2020 legislative term.
FY 2018 BUDGETDelaware’s Fiscal Year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30 the following year. Delaware enacted its FY 2018 Budget during a special legislative session. To view Delaware’s FY 2018 Budget, click here.
REGULATION & ENFORCEMENT
- Delaware was one of 16 states to file an amicus brief supporting the FTC’s winning position in the Ninth Circuit appeal of St. Luke’s Health Care Sys. v. FTC, No. 14-35173 (March 7, 2014), decided February 10, 2015. The States’ brief stated that the acceleration of health care costs due to the growth of large health care provider systems had become a matter of grave concern for the states.