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Recent Conferences

March 14, 2018

Health Care Cost Control: What is the Path Forward?

Co-Sponsored by National Pharmaceutical Council

Although recent US health spending growth has been relatively slow by historical standards it is nonetheless approaching 20 percent of GDP. High health spending has contributed to slow wage growth, squeezed resources from key public priorities like education and created substantial financial burdens for many individuals. But, slowing or reducing spending requires trade-offs such as fewer healthcare jobs, less access to services, higher cost sharing and potentially lower quality. Furthermore, powerful interests oppose reductions to their area of the healthcare economy. Two factors are commonly cited as key drivers of US healthcare costs: high prices enabled by consolidated healthcare markets and high levels of waste from excess use of marginally beneficial service. General approaches to addressing these issues include promoting competition, developing more effective regulation, or enabling private innovation. Despite current spending levels there have been few recent efforts to promote serious cost control outside of government programs. There is need for a broad national dialogue among the full range of stakeholders on how to address US healthcare spending. This meeting will examine the causes and impacts of high US health spending and discuss potential paths towards effective solutions.

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