"Doctors' charges — and the incentives they reflect — are a major factor in the nation's $2.7 trillion medical bill. Payments to doctors in the United States, who make far more than their counterparts in other developed countries, account for 20 percent of American health care expenses, second only to hospital costs."
Authors: Yanzhong Huang, Kalipso Chalkidou, Robert Marten, Derek Cutler, Tony Culyer, Richard Smith, Yot Teerawattananon, Francoise Cluzeau, Ryan Li, Richard Sullivan, Victoria Fan, Amanda Glassman, Yu Dezhi, Sam McPherson, Thiagarajan Sundararaman, Neil Squires, Nils Daulaire, Rajeev Sadanandan, and Alexandre Lemgruber The Lancet
Yanzhong Huang and colleagues examine universal health coverage and the role of technology.
Authors: Peter R. Orszag, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, and Ezekiel Emanuel Bloomberg.com
Peter Orszag, Ezekiel Emanuel, and Sheldon Whitehouse argue that the success of the "tech surge" in improving HealthCare.gov should inspire President Barack Obama to mobilize a similar effort to reduce health-care costs.
"A day spent as an inpatient at an American hospital costs on average more than $4,000, five times the charge in many other developed countries, according to the International Federation of Health Plans, a global network of health insurance industries. The most expensive hospitals charge more than $12,500 a day. And at many of them, including California Pacific Medical Center, emergency rooms are profit centers. That is why one of the simplest and oldest medical procedures—closing a wound with a needle and thread—typically leads to bills of at least $1,500 and often much more."
"Once you have beaten back a disease to just a few hundred cases, they will almost by definition be concentrated in places where there's some barrier—geographical, cultural, political—to easy vaccination. In general, each marginal case will cost more, and will consume more time and effort and labor, than the one before it...[but] the math of cost-benefit analyses runs aground when it comes to eradication campaigns, because the benefits, in theory, are infinite."
Two new revolutions in biology—gain-of-function research and synthetic biology—are forcing policymakers to rethink current national and international surveillance and regulatory systems, and any resolution will require international buy-in since the threat entails all living organisms.
Peter Orszag writes that new research finds hospitals with better heart attack patient survival rates are rewarded with greater market share, which suggests competitive forces are allocating patients to the most productive hospitals.
Authors: Yanzhong Huang, Patricia Moser, and Susann Roth Asian Development Bank
Yanzhong Huang, Patricia Moser, and Susann Roth discuss the key health challenges in the post-2015 development agenda for Asia and the Pacific, a highly populated, diverse region of countries with different health needs and priorities.
Peter Orszag wants regulators to watch out for excessive consolidation in local hospital markets as Medicare's shift to value-based payments puts pressure on health care providers to merge and raise fees for private insurers.
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