Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researcher calls for halt of U.S. health care spending spiral

Date:
November 12, 2013
Source:
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Summary:
In order to evoke a true transformation, the U.S. health care system needs an audacious goal, one equivalent to President Kennedy’s call for a man on the moon in 1962, says one researcher. He recommends limiting the rate of per capita health care cost increases to that of the U.S. economy as a whole as measured by the growth of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).

In order to evoke a true transformation, the U.S. health care system needs an audacious goal, one equivalent to President Kennedy's call for a man on the moon in 1962, says Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PHD, Diane v.S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. In a Viewpoint published in the November 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Emanuel recommends limiting the rate of per capita health care cost increases to that of the U.S. economy as a whole as measured by the growth of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).

Related Articles


The article identifies several reasons for adopting this as a national goal, invoking the criteria established by management author Jim Collins for what he dubbed a big hairy audacious goal. First, it is clear. Second, it is easily measurable. Third, it has a well defined time frame that aims well into the future. Fourth, it is sufficiently challenging to be a motivator of action. And finally, it has a reasonable probability of success while still being difficult.

Emanuel writes that universal health care coverage was at one time the U.S. health system's audacious goal. But, he says, while that the Affordable Care Act was transformative for the nation's political system, it will not be transformative for the health care system itself.

Noting that Massachusetts, Arkansas and Maryland have already adopted goals limiting in-state health care cost growth to the growth of their respective state economies, Emanuel says a similar national goal will result in improved quality of care. But it will "require turning care delivery upside down." Specifically, he writes, "instead of focusing on care in the hospital, more outpatient monitoring … and more interventions at home" will be necessary to keep patients "healthy and with fewer emergency department visits and hospitalizations."

Tools needed to achieve the goal include "team-based care coordination between office, hospital, pharmacy, and home; reducing the use of inappropriate interventions; and electronic records with real-time tracking of leading physiologic indicators."

In the piece, Emanuel recognizes that some will challenge his recommendation as being "too money oriented," preferring a more quality-oriented goal instead. But, he suggests that such goals have inherent difficulties in meeting Collins' criteria. For example, aiming for the U.S. to have the "best health care system in the world" is insufficiently measurable. Eliminating hospital-acquired conditions, while valuable, is not sufficiently transformative of the full health care system, including outpatient care.

In contrast, reigning in the rate of per capita health care cost is: clear and easily measured; its time frame is sufficiently long-range -- at least seven years hence; it is doable but sufficiently challenging, only having been achieved a few times in the past fifty years, and most recently nearly twenty years ago. Most importantly, Emanuel says, "if the effort is successful, the entire health care system will have been transformed."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ezekiel J. Emanuel. Going to the Moon in Health Care. JAMA, 2013; 310 (18): 1925 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2013.281967

Cite This Page:

Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "Researcher calls for halt of U.S. health care spending spiral." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131112095341.htm>.
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. (2013, November 12). Researcher calls for halt of U.S. health care spending spiral. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131112095341.htm
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "Researcher calls for halt of U.S. health care spending spiral." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131112095341.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins