Approaches to Bending the Health Care Cost Curve

January 28, 2013

Health spending in the U.S. climbed to $2.7 trillion and constituted 17.9 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011. A recent report released by actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) found that health spending as a share of GDP remained steady at 17.9 percent from 2009 through 2011. Despite that stability, some analysts warn that, as the economy improves and the population ages, cost increases could again accelerate. Effects of cost constraining provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) are largely unknown, since major provisions will not be implemented until 2014.

Are there changes to PPACA that could slow down health care spending growth? How can the public and private sectors collaborate to effectively address the problem? What role can market-based incentives and reforms play in a solution? Are there examples of provider payment or delivery innovation that could help? Should spending targets be established? If so, how? What are other approaches to stabilizing health care spending?

A distinguished panel of experts addressed these and related questions.

Stu Guterman, vice president and executive director of The Commonwealth Fund’s Commission on a High Performance Health System, will discuss the commission’s new report on confronting costs.

Karen Ignagni, president and chief executive officer of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), will discuss costs from a health plan perspective.

Robert Galvin, chief executive officer of Equity Healthcare at the Blackstone Group, and former chief medical officer for General Electric, will provide a health purchaser perspective.

Ed Howard of the Alliance and David Blumenthal of Commonwealth will moderate the discussion.

This forum took place on Monday, January 28, and was sponsored by the nonpartisan Alliance for Health Reform and The Commonwealth Fund.

Contact: Marilyn Werber Serafini (202)789-2300

Transcript and Videos

Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Speaker Presentations

David Blumenthal Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Stuart Guterman Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Karen Ignagni Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Robert Galvin Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Event Details

Agenda (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Speaker Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Event Resources