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RAND Launches Unique Tool to Evaluate Health Care Proposals
Date:1/13/2009

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"COMPARE is a global positioning system for health care policy," said Elizabeth McGlynn, associate director of RAND Health and co-director of COMPARE. "It is a tool that tells us where we are and, more importantly, where the new proposals will take us in the immensely complex matter of health care reform.

"There is no magic solution to our nation's health care challenges, and every proposal likely to emerge will contain inevitable trade-offs between cost and quality of care and access to it. COMPARE will help make realistic assessments, based on objective standards and facts, and therefore encourage a full understanding of the immensely complicated benefits and risks of the policy choices ahead."

Among the new findings revealed in the dashboard:

  • An individual mandate is the most cost-effective strategy for decreasing the number of uninsured.
  • For most options, how the policy is designed has a significant impact on how effective it will be and whether there will be unintended consequences. For individual mandates, for example, the level of subsidies that would be available, the development of a national insurance exchange and the penalties for noncompliance all determine likely reductions in the uninsured and the associated costs to the government and others.
  • There is a link between having health insurance and life expectancy. The model estimates that life expectancy would increase by 6 months on average among newly insured persons who maintain coverage until age 65.
  • There is no evidence that many of the proposals for saving money -- prevention, disease management, pay-for-performance, malpractice reform -- will actually reduce spending on health care in the next decade.
  • Payment reform options are likely to produce the greatest opportunity for reducing health care spending, but most of the proposed changes have not been te
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SOURCE The RAND Corporation
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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