5 Things We’re Reading on Health Care Costs

Find the four main reasons health spending has grown in recent years, how clinics are making big bucks on drug screens and why we’re looking back at a research article from 2003 in this week’s five must-reads on health care costs.

Clinics find big money in urine tests

Urine tests have turned urine into “liquid gold” for physicians who own testing clinics, especially as demand has surged because of the opioid epidemic — spending on urine screens and related tests quadrupled from 2011 to 2014. Kaiser Health News investigated the topic.

Throwback to 2003: ‘It’s the Prices, Stupid’

Noted health economist Uwe Reinhardt died November 14 at age 80. An economics and public affairs professor at Princeton and a prolific author and researcher, he influenced health policy throughout his career. In honor of Reinhardt, we revisit a research article he co-authored in 2003, “It’s the Prices, Stupid: Why the United States Is So Different From Other Countries.” Find the full article in Health Affairs, and read his obituary from The New York Times.

Why health care spending nearly doubled in 18 years (it’s still the prices)

Spending on health care surged by $933.5 billion from 1996 through 2013, and there are four main reasons why, according to an analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association: rising price of services, spending on specific conditions like diabetes, outpatient treatment and drug spend. Read CNN’s breakdown of the study.

Trump team reconsiders moves to value-based care …

Under President Barack Obama, the Department of Health and Human Services rolled out several Medicare programs intended to lower the cost of care by paying physicians for quality rather than the volume of care they provided. Since taking office, the Trump administration has made moves to halt or slow several of those initiatives, according to The New York Times. Read the details here.

… While other nations find success

In a Health Affairs article, policy experts look at how Germany, Nepal and the Netherlands have shifted to accountable care for lessons that might guide U.S. efforts to improve the affordability and quality of health care. Find the full piece here.



How Rewards Nudge Members to Shop for Care

5 Things to Read on Health Care Costs

Video: Supporting Wellness at Work

Interested in ways we can make the
health care system work better?

Interested in ways we can make the health care system work better?