A group of healthcare policy experts has unveiled “four interrelated pillars” to reduce the growth of healthcare spending while improving quality of care.
The proposal, Bending the Curve: Effective Steps to Address Long-Term Health Care Spending Growth, was discussed during a teleconference sponsored by the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at the Brookings Institution. “We wanted to focus on finding a set of reforms that were meaningful and feasible and would reduce spending growth rates successfully,” said Mark McClellan, director of the Engelberg Center, which convened the 10 experts who developed this proposal.
“Cutting Medicare prices across the board may produce short-term benefits, but it's not sufficient to bend the curve over the long term,” said McClellan, a former CMS administrator.
The proposal recommends investing in better tools to support a reformed system, such as health information technology; transitioning to accountable payment systems that reward providers for delivering lower-cost, higher-quality care; restructuring group health insurance markets and coverage subsidies based on a model that pools risk outside of employment and promotes competition on cost and quality; and empowering patients to make better health decisions in an effort to lower healthcare costs.
Medicare Advantage was specifically targeted: The experts recommended reducing MA benchmarks through a competitive bidding system.