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Health care savings, coverage for all could lower spending $1.5 trillion over 10 years
Date:12/17/2007

December 18, 2007, New York, NYGuaranteed health insurance for all combined with several federal policy options to achieve health care system savings could result in $1.5 trillion in reduced spending over 10 years, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report prepared by Fund staff and the Lewin Group for study by the Funds Commission on a High Performance Health System.

Bending the Curve: Options for Achieving Savings and Improving Value in U.S. Health Spending, analyzes 15 federal health policy options (see attached full list of reviewed policies) for their potential to lower spending over the next 10 years and yield higher value for the nations investment in health care. Specifically, authors reviewed policies related to health information technology and improving knowledge for clinical decision making; public health measures such as reducing smoking and positive incentives for health; financial incentives aligned with quality and efficiency such as hospital pay-for-performance and strengthening primary care; and policies that use the health care market to increase efficiency, add value, and reduce costs.

The report also examines combining policy options targeted towards slowing health care cost growth with affordable health insurance for all. Combining universal coverage with policies aimed at achieving health care savings could have a significant impact because improvements in delivery and financing would apply to a larger number of people, could lower insurance administrative costs, and lead to a more integrated health care system, according to the authors, Commonwealth Fund Senior Vice President Cathy Schoen and colleagues. Additionally, savings from improved efficiency would substantially offset the federal cost of expanding coverage.

This report is unique in that we focused on total national health spending, not just one aspect of spending, said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis. The report illustrates there are pol
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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