In Defense of the IPAB
The independent payment review board has been criticized for being a rationing tool, a form of “central planning” that will misappropriate funds, and even a death sentence to our health care system. Jonathan Cohn, in The Health Care Blog, praises it as a way to reduce spending and manage care more efficiently, partly by shifting decision-making power from lobbyists to scientists. The program is not perfect, he writes, and could be improved. At the very least, the dialogue around the IPAB should focus on how to develop it, not whether or not to eliminate it.
Physicians’ Role in Cost Control
James Rickert, an orthopedic surgeon, calls for physicians to make some sacrifices to help mitigate the increasing health care costs. Writing in the Health Affairs blog, he says that physicians, especially specialists, must be willing to take cuts in their income. Doctors are more knowledgeable about which types of treatments are most necessary and cost-effective, and they need to get more involved in these types of decisions.
Pennywise and Pound Foolish?
It makes sense: cutting spending is the way to cut costs and provide long-term stability to budgets. But Joe Flower, writing in The Health Care Blog, argues that decreasing spending doesn’t always improve the bottom line, and often increases costs. He calls for reducing health care costs by improving efficiency across the board and eliminating unnecessary procedures, treatments, and tests.
Cost Control Trends
Six leading policy and industry experts weigh in on the most interesting ideas for cutting back on health costs. Some recent models include vigorous consolidation, better coordination of care, new financial arrangements among health care providers, and greater use of medical data to identify practices that lower costs.
Michael Gallinari is an intern at The Hastings Center.