Managing Healthcare Costs

Managing Health Care Costs: MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2012.

Health care inflation consistently outpaces economic growth, and threatens to ‘crowd out’ other important societal priorities. This blog addresses efforts to control health care costs. The blog began as an outgrowth of a class at the Harvard School of Public Health, and is open to all.

The New England Journal of Medicine reported last week that the Congressional Budget Office lowered its estimate of Medicare costs over the next decade by $69 billion in January.   The trend rate for Medicare is estimated to be below changes in GDP per capita for the next decade – which is unprecedented since Medicare’s inception.
For starters, authors White and Ginsburg are using costs per capita – thereby adjusting for Medicare’s growth in enrollment with aging of the baby boomers.  That’s the only fair comparison –but there will still be some who will point to higher overall costs.  In fact, with a smaller base of workers paying for most of Medicare, the total cost is important, too. Read more