A new study presented at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting (ARM) finds little evidence that increased investment in social spending would decrease health care spending in the U.S. Other research highlights a budget-neutral purchasing policy to reduce the cost-sharing burden for Medicare enrollees.
“Health care spending in the U.S. continues to be a top concern among policymakers, researchers, payers and patients,” said Dr. Lisa Simpson, president and CEO of AcademyHealth. “Studies presented at this year’s Annual Research Meeting shine a light on important considerations for decision makers aiming to reduce the cost of care.”
Key studies on this topic at this year’s ARM include:
- The Relationship between Health Spending and Social Spending in High Income Countries: How Does the U.S. Compare?
Findings from research out of the London School of Economics and Harvard find little evidence to suggest that higher spending on social services is associated with lower health care spending. Researchers examined health spending and social spending in the U.S. and 34 other high-income countries, and found that countries that spend more on social services generally spend more on health. When examining spending patterns since 1980, the data shows a modest, positive association in countries that increased their social spending over time also tended to increase their health care spending.
- Consolidated Drug Purchasing across Federal Agencies: A Solution to Improve Drug Affordability in Medicare Part D
New research from Johns Hopkins finds a solution to reduce cost-sharing for Medicare beneficiaries while maintaining budget neutrality. If all federal agencies purchased medications as one entity, paying the same price for the medication and using that price to determine cost sharing, the study found that the cost-sharing burden for Medicare enrollees would be reduced by $252 million*.
*Estimated reduction has been updated since abstract acceptance.
For more information about featured studies, please visit academyhealth.org/arm/pressroom.