The Two Trillion Dollar Solution: Saving money by modernizing the health care system

Source: Melinda Beeuwkes Buntin and David Cutler, Center for American Progress, June 2009

From the summary:
The fundamental challenge in health reform is to reduce the growth rate of health care costs. If annual cost increases can be lowered, then workers’ incomes will increase, labor market distortions will decline, and government budgets will move closer to balance. If we cannot “bend the curve” of increasing health care costs, then we will not be able to afford our current commitments to Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, let alone the cost of covering the 45 million uninsured Americans.

The enormity of the challenge is widely recognized. So too are the fundamental ideas about how the problem should be met. These widely accepted solutions include bringing health care into the information age, reforming health insurance markets, and learning what works and which health care providers are better at what they do. Reform will also require reorienting payments away from fee-for-service every time a patient visits a doctor, checks out of a hospital or is prescribed a battery of clinical tests. Health reform instead must move us toward value-based systems that pay for entire episodes of care, stressing prevention and not just acute treatment.
See also:
Payment Reform to Improve Health Care: Ways to Move Forward
Source: Ellen-Marie Whelan and Judy Feder, Center for American Progress, June 2009

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