Medical services are expensive. There is no getting around it. The average family health insurance premium in the US is approaching $20,000. By one estimate, average family premiums could rise to 100 percent of US median household income by 2033 if trends continue. What is more troubling is that there is considerable evidence that nearly one-third of health spending is for care with little or no value. But efforts to define and eliminate waste have proven elusive. Meanwhile, growth in medical spending, which has largely been driven by constantly rising prices, is squeezing public and private resources that could be devoted to other priorities. It has caused wage growth for many to stagnate, and it has led to constrained state and local spending for education, infrastructure, and other priorities.
A diverse group of stakeholders including providers, payers, employers, and policy experts met on March 14 in Washington, DC, at an event sponsored by the Brandeis University Health Industry Forum to discuss what should be done about the continued growth in US health spending. This post highlights some of the key takeaways from the meeting.
– Health Affairs