The innovations that some states are implementing to reduce costs while maintaining or improving quality can and should be replicated by other states. This report lays out a comprehensive summary of options that states can choose from to improve the quality and sustainability of their health care systems.
Obamacare, which turned six on Wednesday, has reduced the share of Americans without health insurance by half, provided people without job-based coverage access to affordable high-quality options, and prevented people from being denied insurance because of preexisting health conditions. Meanwhile, health-care costs have grown more slowly than they did before the law was passed.
Obamacare cannot deliver the impossible (even if it were good public policy— and it isn’t). In their operations to date, only about half of the Medicare accountable care organizations (ACOs) have yielded savings. The best that can be said, thus far, is that the jury is still out on the Affordable Care Act delivery reforms.
Not all prescribing that drug ads promote is valuable, yet they encourage some helpful and appropriate care. Collectively, every $28 spent by drug companies per year on ads resulted in one more visit to a doctor that led to a prescription. When it comes to depression, a randomized controlled trial showed that drug requests led to more appropriate care, though not always with pharmaceuticals. Another way drug ads can help patients is by encouraging them to continue with medication they’ve already been prescribed.