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Reducing Health Care Cost

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CONTROLLING HEALTH CARE
COSTS WHILE PROMOTING
THE BEST POSSIBLE
HEALTH OUTCOMES

American College of Physicians
A White Paper
2009

Controlling Health Care Costs While Promoting the Best Possible Health Outcomes
Summary of Position Paper Approved by the ACP Board of Regents, September 2009
What are the Major Drivers of Health Care Costs?
Major drivers of health care costs include: inappropriate utilization especially of advanced medical technology, lack of patient involvement in decision-making, payment system distortions that encourage over-use, high prices for health care services, a health care workforce that is not aligned with national needs, excessive administrative costs, medical liability and defensive medicine, more Americans with declining health status and chronic disease, and demographic changes including an increase in elderly persons. This paper addresses each of these drivers of health care costs and provides recommendations for controlling them.
Why Do We Need to Control Health Care Costs?
Improvements in health care have the ability to provide opportunities for all people to live better, healthier lives. However, the rate of increase in U.S. spending on health care continues to exceed economic growth at an unsustainable pace. The rate of growth in health care spending is the single most important factor undermining the nation’s long-term fiscal condition. Why Should Controlling Health Care Costs be Linked to Promoting Good Health
Outcomes?
Increasing pressure to control health care costs necessitates that limited healthcare resources be used equitably and judiciously. Healthcare expenditures must be correlated with high quality and efficiency in the delivery of services to improve health outcomes. This requires understanding the benefits and effectiveness of clinical procedures, recognizing the major drivers of health care costs, and identifying…...

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