Thursday, July 12, 2018
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Sue Ducat
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From Health Affairs:

Health Affairs Announces Council On Health Care Spending And Value;
William Frist and Margaret Hamburg To Cochair

Bethesda, MD—Health Affairs, the leading journal of health policy thought and research, has launched a new, three-year initiative: a council to examine health care spending in the United States. The council will provide a focal point for discussion, analysis, and action on health care spending and value, and it will make recommendations about ways the nation could take a more deliberate approach to health spending. 

“The time is right for an evidence-based discussion about what we get for our health care spending, whether it is worth it, and how we may realistically prioritize our limited resources,” said Alan Weil, a highly respected expert in health policy and editor-in-chief of Health Affairs since 2014. He expands on his vision for the council today on Health Affairs Blog.

The council will be cochaired by William Frist and Margaret Hamburg. Dr. Frist, former majority leader of the US Senate, is a partner in the private investment firm Cressey and Company and chair of the philanthropies Hope through Healing Hands, SCORE, and NashvilleHealth. Dr. Hamburg, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, assistant secretary for planning and evaluation in the US Department of Health and Human Services, and commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, is foreign secretary of the National Academy of Medicine and president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Additional members will be named in the coming months. The council will convene meetings and issue interim and final reports.

Supported by the National Pharmaceutical Council and Anthem, Inc., the council will be an integral part of Health Affairs’ “Considering Health Spending” initiative, which also includes writings in both the journal and blog. This work is a natural outgrowth of Health Affairs’ thirty-five-plus years of covering the subject. The collection includes semiannual reports and forecasts in partnership with the Office of the Actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, data considered the gold standard for US health spending statistics. A 2003 spending-related study by Gerard Anderson, the late Uwe Reinhardt, Peter Hussey, and Varduhi Petrosyan, “It’s The Prices, Stupid: Why The United States Is So Different From Other Countries,” remains Health Affairs’ most-read study.