Health Care

Health Care

The United States spends more on health care than any other nation. However, it does not produce the best results. The Health Care team is working to bring down the skyrocketing costs of prescription medications, while keeping in place the necessary systems that allow for innovation and discovery. We fund research that assesses the best ways to measure quality of care, the effectiveness of alternative payment models, and the impact that transparent pricing information has on patients’ decisions.

A number of interrelated problems contribute to the dysfunctional system. These include:

  • The fee-for-service model, which provides incentives for doctors and health systems to deliver care regardless of whether it is necessary or will have the greatest impact on patient health
  • The lack of access to useful information about the quality and cost of care
  • The failure to share best practices across multiple agencies and health care systems

LJAF is funding a number of organizations to address these issues. We seeded the Center for Healthcare Transparency (CHT), which seeks to make reliable information about health care quality and costs readily available so that patients, physicians, and employers can make more informed decisions. CHT is working to establish a set of common protocols that can be used by regional data centers to integrate and disseminate various sources of information, including medical claims, clinical data, and patient surveys. By expanding access to information about the quality and cost of care provided by local doctors and medical centers—and by making it easier to compare that information—CHT aims to drive better decision making at every layer of the health care system.

We are also funding the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) and the Harvard Health Care Markets and Regulation Lab, two organizations that are analyzing health reforms across the United States. HCCI is studying the way states are implementing the Affordable Care Act in an effort to identify the reform initiatives that deliver the best results. At Harvard, researchers are conducting a number of high-quality research studies designed to help improve health care policy. The researchers are assessing the best ways to measure the quality of care, the effectiveness of alternative payment models, the impact that transparent pricing information has on patients’ decisions, and other methods aimed at transforming the system.