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Measures Needed To Reduce Health Care Costs

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

A Jan. 12 Washington Post column written by Robert Samuelson highlighted a "'no gain without lots of pain' theory to controlling health care costs" -- under which the "only way to make health care affordable is to restrict doctors' and patients' choices and access to clinical advances" -- but "better alternatives" exist, Advanced Medical Technology Association President and CEO Stephen Ubl writes in a Post letter to the editor.

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"At the top of the list is doing a better job of preventing illnesses," Ubl writes, adding, "Better management of chronic disease, which accounts for 75% to 80% of health care costs, is critical." According to Ubl, "We also need to improve how we pay for health care to reward high-quality care and efficiency" and "accelerate the development of the new treatments and cures that extend and improve lives."

He concludes, "In the long run, the best way to solve the health care cost problem is to prevent disease and, when it does occur, to detect it sooner and treat it more quickly and more effectively" (Ubl, Washington Post, 1/16).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.