Health care reform in america
As an economist, Peter Orszag has emphasized the role that health care reform plays in America’s economy, fiscal trajectory, and compensation trends. When Orszag worked as the director of the Congressional Budget Office and then later in the White House as the director of the Office of Management and Budget, a major area of focus for him was health care reform.
Orszag has highlighted the opportunities for improving value in health care -- including through changing the incentives for providers, improving the flow of information to both doctors and beneficiaries, and by making consumers more aware of the costs involved in their care.
Also worth considering is how an overhaul of Americans’ lifestyles would decrease health care spending significantly. Simply living healthier lifestyles as a means of preventative care would save millions of dollars each year.
Here are a few points on health care reform efforts:
- Malpractice laws: Orszag has written in The New York Times about malpractice lawsuits and how doctors must perform extraneous, unnecessary testing to cover themselves from lawsuits because of the “customary practice” basis of those law. As a possible solution, lawmakers could protect doctors from these lawsuits, as long as they have followed evidence-based guidelines in treating patients to the best of their abilities.
- Efficiency in containing costs and improving quality of care: Some basic examples of this include penalizing hospitals with high readmission rates and infections developed in-hospital and enabling a single payment to treat a condition versus multiple payments for each treatment. There would be incentives for health care providers to emphasize quality of care to save money and help patients.
- Medicare reform: An Independent Payment Advisory Board comprised of medical experts would discover ways to improve Medicare’s cost-effectiveness under the Health Care Act.
The ultimate goals in health care reform are to provide coverage to all Americans, lower costs, and increase quality. In combination with more awareness of healthy lifestyles, costs could be driven down significantly, while saving government programs like Medicare.
Peter Orszag's Bloomberg Health care Articles