Saturday, March 16, 2013

The High Price of Healthcare

Steven Brill, Giovanni Colella, M.D., and Ezekiel Emanuel, M.D. Ph.D. examined how to lower the high price of healthcare at a recent Center for American Progress event, "The High Price of Health Care" on March 13, 2013. Steve Brill's widely cited Time cover story exposed a “uniquely American gold rush” for hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device makers at the expense of patients and payers. After analyzing healthcare bills and interviewing patients, hospital executives, and billing advocates, Brill found that patients and other healthcare purchasers are charged ridiculous prices, with markups as high as 10,000%. I agree that transparency in pricing and engaging patients are key to actually reducing healthcare costs.

Leading experts in the field of healthcare joined the Center for American Progress to develop a plan to address the crisis of rising healthcare costs. The 11 cost-containment solutions were the subject of a New England Journal of Medicine article, authored by 23 prominent health care experts, including Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, former administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Dr. Donald Berwick, former director of the Office of Management and Budget Peter Orszag, and Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden. There was some interesting alignment between the NEJM article and Brill's piece. The Center for American Progress hosted this panel discussion with opening remarks by Tanden and moderated by Topher Spiro, Vice President of Health Policy at the Center for American Progress. The video below is from the event, the infographic below that was created by Maura Calsyn, Emily Oshima Lee, and Danny Schwaber.