A Bipartisan Rx for Patient-Centered Care and System-Wide Cost Containment

Improving Medicare, reforming tax policies, prioritizing healthcare quality and incentivizing states could save roughly $560 billion over the next decade, according to a report from the Bipartisan Policy Center Health Care Cost Containment Initiative.

Too often, the report found, attempts to address the budget and health issues are fragmented because of partisan disagreements. In the report, former Senate majority leaders Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and former White House budget chief and Congressional Budget Office Director Alice Rivlin evaluated strategies to contain healthcare cost growth on a system-wide basis.

Key recommendations include:

  • Improve and enhance Medicare to incent quality and care coordination.
  • Reform tax policy and clarify consolidation rules to encourage greater efficiency and competition.
  • Prioritize quality, prevention and wellness.
  • Incent and empower states to improve care and constrain costs through delivery, payment, workforce, and liability reform.

The authors contend that focusing only on federal healthcare programs risks shifting costs to the private sector or state and local governments without achieving higher quality of care.

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