Here’s How to Save $2 Trillion on Health Care
Making the health care system function better could save $2 trillion on health costs over the next decade, Dr. David Blumenthal, Commonwealth Fund president, told CNBC's "Closing Bell" on Friday.
A study released this week by the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund recommends holding the $2.8 trillion U.S. health-care system to an annual spending target by having Medicare, Medicaid, other government programs and private insurers encourage providers to accelerate adoption of more cost-effective care.,
"Start by setting a goal for health care spending for the country as a whole that spending on healthcare should go up no faster than the gross domestic product," the Obama health care advisor said. "The 18 percent of GDP that we spend now on healthcare is enough and we should let it grow with gross domestic product."
Then, according the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that aims to promote a high performing health care, the country needs to pay health care providers smarter, consumers need to be more involved in choosing healthcare and administrative waste needs to be slashed.
On the latter point, Blumenthal said about 14 percent of our health care dollar, or $360 billion, is spent on administration.
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"The administrative waste reduction is included in Obamacare," he said, "but the implementation is extended and it's not getting the attention or the push it deserves."
In terms of paying doctors for Medicare, the Commonwealth Fund proposes freezing rates at 2012 and 2013 levels, and "increase them if physicians participate in high performance health systems or if they perform better than average in terms of quality and efficiency of care."By making the system function better, Blumenthal said the country could save $2 trillion over a decade, with half of the savings going to the federal government.