Managing Health Care Costs: Private Sector Innovations

By Sean Sullivan; Polly M. Ehrenhaft | Go to book overview

Foreword

This volume -- made possible by a grant from the J. M. Foundation of New York -- carries further work that began more than two years ago, when AEI's Center for Health Policy Research surveyed private sector initiatives to contain health care costs and published Market Reforms in Health Care. The present volume offers case studies in greater depth, focusing on two companies and two coalitions that have been pacesetters in the cost containment effort.

The case studies exhibit a wide range of responses to rising costs by private payers. Data collection and utilization review stay within the system of health care delivery and financing that prevails in the United States and try to make it perform less expensively. Development of health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and efforts to change restrictive state laws open the health care marketplace to competitive delivery and financing systems.

The second part of the book is an edited transcript of an AEI seminar on private sector initiatives in health care, held in July 1983. It brought together a large and diverse group of panelists to discuss the development of new models of cost containment and the shifting of hospital costs from public programs to private payers, a major issue. Thanks to the J. M. Foundation, we can share the proceedings of that seminar with a much larger audience than was able to attend.

The programs conducted by AEI's Center for Health Policy Research have focused on issues in the forefront of public debate. In A New Approach to the Economics of Health Care ( 1981), edited by Mancur Olson, we reviewed experiences with health care regulation in the United States and abroad and assessed the general merit of marketoriented changes in health policy. In Market Reforms in Health Care ( 1983), edited by Jack A. Meyer, the center's director, we explored some of the key decisions to be made and the barriers to be overcome in implementing a system of incentives for cost-conscious choices in health care. And in Restructuring Medicaid ( 1983), edited by Sean Sullivan and Rosemary Gibson and also funded by the J. M. Foundation, we studied state and local initiatives to reform the delivery and financing of care under Medicaid. Now, in the present volume, we look

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