Controlling Health Care Spending: What Are the Options?

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<p>Health care expenditures are expected to continue to rise rapidly over the next decade, outpacing general inflation as well as gains in income--and imposing stress on families, businesses, and public budgets. But it doesn't have to be this way.<br><br>By creating more efficient and effective health care and insurance systems, the U.S. should be able to achieve savings and better value for its investment. The new report, <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=26537&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D449510%26%23doc449510">Slowing the Growth of U.S. Health Care Expenditures: What Are the Options?</a>, prepared for the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System, illuminates the factors contributing to high expenditures and examines strategies that have the potential to produce savings, slow spending growth, and improve health system performance.<br><br>President Karen Davis and her Commonwealth Fund colleagues believe that change can come about by:<br><br><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="3"><tr><td align="left" valign="bottom"><ul><li>Reshaping market incentives to reward value-driven health care and increase competition</li><li>Generating information on the clinical effectiveness and cost benefit of medical services to support coverage policy and medical decision-making</li><li>Reducing high insurance administrative overhead and promoting competitive pharmaceutical prices</li><li>Reforming provider payment systems to reward efficient and effective care</li><li>Strengthening primary care</li><li>Investing in health information technology</li><li>Investing in insurance reforms to ensure access, affordability, and equity.</li></ul></td></tr></table><br>Only a "coherent public and private sector strategy," the authors say, will enable the nation "to achieve commensurate value for the significant resources it commands."</p>