The United States spends more on health care, as a percentage of its economy, than any other nation. However, this high spending does not produce better health outcomes. The Health Care team’s objective is to contain health care costs for families, businesses, and governments.
A number of interrelated problems contribute to misaligned incentives and a dysfunctional system driving these high costs. The current incentives of the pharmaceutical market favor patent abuse and high prices over innovation, affordability, and patient access. Market consolidation leads to high prices for hospital and physician services. Reimbursement incentives and a lack of useful information on the value of medical services results in doctors and health systems delivering care regardless of whether it is necessary or will have the greatest impact on patient health. We do not have good evidence on how to care for complex populations and how to integrate social services with medical care.
The Health Care team is working to lower health care spending while maintaining access to high-quality care and supporting the continued reform of the health care delivery system. We have four aims: First, to bring down high commercial sector prices to make health care more affordable. Second, to reduce the skyrocketing costs of prescription medications, while maintaining incentives for innovation. Third, to eliminate harmful and wasteful care that drives up costs while putting patients through unnecessary tests and procedures. And fourth, to address the needs of complex populations so they receive better care at the same or lower costs.
We fund research, policy development, technical assistance to federal and state policymakers, and education for policy makers, providers, the public, and the media.