Report: U.S. Healthcare System Can Save $560B in Public, Private Reforms

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If the United States tinkered with Medicare more, reformed tax policies, prioritized healthcare quality and incented states to improve care, the healthcare system could save roughly $560 billion over the next decade, according to a report from the Bipartisan Policy Center Health Care Cost Containment Initiative.

The 142-page report examined and elaborated on different policies and recommendations to "pursue a more coordinated, accountable and sustainable healthcare system." The four primary recommendations that the BPC said need to be made to improve healthcare in the public and private sector were:

•    Improve Medicare. The group said Medicare can be enhanced through many new options, such as "Medicare Networks," which essentially were accountable care organizations that would penalize hospitals and physicians for staying in fee-for-service. Providers would receive financial rewards for joining the Medicare Networks.

•    Reform tax policy. BPC said current employer-sponsored health insurance, and the tax exclusions tied to it, are not efficient and encourage high-cost benefit designs.

•    Prioritize quality, prevention and wellness. Quality-performance and quality-reporting systems would have to be "more precise and clinically relevant to incent better delivery" from providers.

•    Empower states to pursue needed reforms. Dual eligibles, federally qualified health centers, Medicaid fraud and state transparency issues must be highlighted in state-based reforms.

To read the entire report from the Bipartisan Policy Center on healthcare cost containment, click here.

More Articles on Healthcare Cost Containment:

U.S. Healthcare Cost Containment: Lessons From 4 Other High-Income Countries
26 Statistics on International Hospital Spending
Looking North: What the U.S. Can Learn From Canada to Salvage Medicare

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