Cover: Hospital Cost Control

Hospital Cost Control

A Bitter Pill to Swallow

Published in: Harvard Business Review, v. 63, no. 2, Mar.-Apr. 1985, 160-167

Posted on 1985

by Henry J. Aaron, William B. Schwartz

Americans delude themselves if they think that the rising tide of medical costs can be stemmed for long without sacrificing some beneficial care. Elimination of waste from the medical system can achieve large savings. But these savings cannot offset for more than a few years the cost-increasing effects of new medical technology and an aging population. Comparing the American experience with the rationing of health care in Britain, these authors conclude that though the differences are substantial between the two countries, the United States may well need to apply similar constraints, and that Americans will no longer be willing to support a system of unlimited medical care.

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