Financing the efficient delivery of medical services while reducing costs for consumers as well as health care providers is among the most challenging domestic policy problems many countries face. RAND addresses health economics issues through innovative, high-profile research in an effort to improve the efficiency of health care organizations, reduce costs for providers and consumers, and improve financing in health care markets.
If Congress wants to save Medicare, it can start by driving waste and excess out of the system. This can be done without impoverishing patients or driving doctors out of business, if physicians are willing to practice smarter, more efficient medicine. Spending on prescription drugs is a case in point.
Out-of-pocket spending on health care will decrease for both the newly insured as well as for those changing their source of insurance. These decreases will be largest for those who would otherwise be uninsured.
There are times when no amount of care, however cutting-edge it is, will save a patient. In these instances, further critical care is said to be “futile.” This type of treatment is not uncommon in intensive care units, and that raises some uncomfortable questions.
Resolving the question of whether or not the U.S. has finally gotten a handle on health care spending is vitally important, because the choices we make going forward will have profound implications for our economy, the financial wellbeing of millions of American families, and ultimately America's standing in the world.
Wellness programs do in fact reduce health risks, like smoking and obesity, write Soeren Mattke and Kristin Van Busum. But resulting cost savings could not be detected, especially when compared to the costs of the programs.
It is time for the government in partnership with industry to return to the drawing board to craft a plan that will provide protection for the more than 9 million people who will need care for dementia by 2040, writes Michael D. Hurd.
Removing the constraints on Medicare would not only lead to lower prices at the drugstore, hospital and doctor's office, it could spark a new era of healthcare innovation, says Arthur Kellermann.
The health care “entitlement” we need to reform is the notion that America's health care system is entitled to an ever-growing share of America's wealth, writes Arthur Kellermann.
Globally, the health IT industry should not wait to be forced by government regulators into doing a better job. Developers can boost the pace of adoption by creating more standardized systems that are easier to use, truly interoperable, and afford patients greater access to and control over their personal health data.
While the current state of the evidence does not provide clear guidance to policymakers seeking to address the twin pillars of health care quality and cost, it is apparent that researchers must produce more detailed data on how to reduce health care spending while improving quality, writes Peter Hussey.
Given the size of the annual “health care spend”—$2.7 trillion—summing up the savings associated with very minor cost-saving policy changes is likely to achieve significant aggregate savings, writes Jeffrey Wasserman.
The growth of health care costs has slowed dramatically for the third consecutive year but as the economy rebounds, spending growth could skyrocket, says Arthur Kellermann.
At a time when our country is teetering on the edge of a “fiscal cliff,” no challenge in health care is more important than reducing health care spending, writes Arthur L. Kellermann.
Unfortunately, nearly every actor in our health care delivery system—hospitals, physicians, other health care providers, insurance companies and the manufacturers of drugs and devices—is currently focused on maximizing revenue growth, write Arthur Kellermann and David Auerbach.
Regardless of which candidate wins in November, and regardless of whether “Obamacare” is repealed, amended, or defended by the next Congress, the next president will have to contend with the spiraling cost of health care in the United States—a problem that is growing more acute with each passing year, writes Arthur Kellermann.
Don't forget—an American's odds of living a long and healthy life still depend more on his zip code than his genetic code. That won't change until we make healthcare more affordable, writes Dr. Arthur Kellermann.
The bottom line is this: With or without the Affordable Care Act, the nation can no longer kick the can down the road on costs, writes Arthur Kellermann.
The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act is unquestionably historic, but there is a critical aspect of health care reform that still needs to be fixed. The nation needs to take decisive action to address the rising costs of health care, writes Arthur Kellermann.
Before we allow others to implement policies attempting to optimize the use of physician time or reduce the amount of equivocal or inappropriate care, we need to understand what physicians think about these issues and what they are prepared to do about them, writes Robert H. Brook.
What do we have to show for all of this spending? Lots of testing and treatment, but not enough health, writes Art Kellermann.