Report Sees Major Savings by Combining Universal Coverage with Health Reform Options

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<p>A new analysis prepared for The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System finds that guaranteeing health insurance for all, when combined with policy options aimed at improving health system performance, could result in $1.5 trillion in reduced spending over the next decade.<br><br>While there is broad agreement that the U.S. health care system is in need of serious reform, the price tag associated with enacting major changes is sometimes viewed as prohibitively expensive. But according to the report <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=30997&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecommonwealthfund%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D620087%26%23doc620087">Bending the Curve: Options for Achieving Savings and Improving Value in U.S. Health Spending</a>, comprehensive health reform can lead to surprising savings in both the near and long term.<br><br>The analysis, prepared by Fund staff using estimates from the Lewin Group, reviews 15 federal health policy options for their potential to lower spending over 10 years and yield higher value for the nation's investment in health care. The policies fall into the following areas:<table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="3"><tr><td align="left" valign="bottom"><ul><li>Producing and using better information;</li><li>Promoting health and disease prevention;</li><li>Aligning incentives with quality and efficiency; and</li><li>Correcting price signals in the health care market.</li></ul></td></tr></table>"The report illustrates that it is possible to insure everyone and achieve savings," said James J. Mongan, M.D., Commission chair and president and CEO of Partners HealthCare System in Boston. "The Commission hopes the report will stimulate constructive discussion on the pros and cons of these options as well as others that could move the nation on a path to higher value."</p>