March 14, 2018

Health Care Cost Control: What is the Path Forward?

Co-Sponsored by National Pharmaceutical Council

Although recent U.S. health spending growth has been relatively slow by historical standards it is nonetheless approaching 20 percent of GDP. High health spending has contributed to slow wage growth, squeezed resources from key public priorities like education and created substantial financial burdens for many individuals. But, slowing or reducing spending requires trade-offs such as fewer healthcare jobs, less access to services, higher cost sharing and potentially lower quality. Furthermore, powerful interests oppose reductions to their area of the healthcare economy. Two factors are commonly cited as key drivers of U.S. healthcare costs: high prices enabled by consolidated healthcare markets and high levels of waste from excess use of marginally beneficial service. General approaches to addressing these issues include promoting competition, developing more effective regulation, or enabling private innovation. Despite current spending levels there have been few recent efforts to promote serious cost control outside of government programs. There is need for a broad national dialogue among the full range of stakeholders on how to address U.S. healthcare spending. This meeting will examine the causes and impacts of high U.S. health spending and discuss potential paths towards effective solutions.

Agenda

Participants

Health Affairs Blog: Health Care Cost Control: Where Do We Go From Here?

Presentations

The Battle Over Controlling Healthcare Spending: Can It (Or Should It) Be Won?
Stuart Altman, PhD, Professor of National Health Policy, Brandeis University

Does the U.S. Have a Healthcare Spending Crisis? What are We Willing to Sacrifice in order to Control Costs?
Frederick Isasi, Executive Director, Families USA

Health Care Spending, Challenges and Opportunities
Robert W. Dubois, MD, PhD, Chief Science Officer & Executive Vice-President, National Pharmaceutical Council

How Much Can We Rely on Market Forces to Lower Healthcare Spending?
Bryan Dowd, PhD, Professor, University of Minnesota

Healthcare Cost Control: Let’s Get Real
Robert Berenson, MD, Institute Fellow, The Urban Institute

Is it Time to Reconsider Regulation of Health Spending?
James Capretta, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute