Controlling Health Spending: Lessons from Abroad

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<p>In this week's <em>New England Journal of Medicine,</em> Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis <a href="/publications/literature-abstracts/2008/oct/controlling-health-spending--lessons-from-abroad
">highlights lessons from abroad</a> that could inform U.S. efforts to control health care spending and improve value. Among the strategies she discusses are: creating a system for generating information about the effectiveness of medical treatments to compare costs and benefits; expanding adoption of health information technologies; developing a system of patient-centered medical homes for primary care; negotiating pharmaceutical prices; and moving to a bundled episode-of-care payment system that combines hospital and physician services for episodes of acute care.<br><br>While Davis warns there is no "silver bullet" that will transform the U.S. health care system, a series of coordinated policy changes could "bend the curve" of projected spending--reducing growth by up to $1.5 trillion over a 10-year period.<br><br>On September 12, Davis participated in a panel at the Harvard School of Public Health at which David Cutler of Harvard University and Gail Wilensky of Project HOPE--senior health policy advisors for Barack Obama and John McCain, respectively--discussed the two candidates' positions on health care reform. The video, as well as a transcript, are available at: <a href="">http://www.n…;