From the National Pharmaceutical Council:
Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that health care spending in the United States is projected to reach almost 20 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2025. This forecast is significant, as rising health care costs have far reaching implications and opportunity costs (i.e., when a society spends more on health care, it must spend less on education, infrastructure, etc.).
As the public policy debate on how to contain health care spending intensifies, the dialogue is often focused at the sector level (i.e. biopharmaceuticals, hospitals, providers, procedures, devices, long-term care facilities, etc.) on how we can prune high-cost services and low-value care from the system to slow rising costs.
The current dialogue raises two concerns. First, it presupposes that we are currently spending or will spend too much on health care. This may or may not be true. If not true, it has the potential to create arbitrary confines for how much the US should spend on health care. Second, cost containment strategies that take a sector based (e.g., concerns about current spending on hospital care or prescription drugs or physician salaries) rather than a holistic-approach (e.g. approaches that manage cost to obtain the best outcomes at the disease or population level) have the potential to create unintended harm.
NPC is interested in reframing the policy debate around these two important policy concerns and is commissioning new research to assess: 1) how much the US should spend on health care; and 2) how should health care spending be allocated across the various sectors of the health care system?