The year 2011 marks a milestone for the Baby Boom generation, as they begin turning 65. Boomers will be qualifying for Medicare at a rate of one every eight seconds; a record 2.8 million will qualify in 2011. In all, the government expects 76 million Boomers will age on to Medicare. The rapid escalation of beneficiaries along with health care cost increases that are outpacing inflation present a huge challenge to the Medicare system.
A recent report from the National Research Council, Improving Health Care Cost Projections for the Medicare Population: Summary of a Workshop, focuses on areas of research needed to improve health care cost projections for the Medicare population and on the strengths and weaknesses of competing frameworks for projecting health care expenditures for the elderly.
Another recently released report, Accounting for Health and Health Care: Approaches to Measuring the Sources and Costs of Their Improvement, provides guidance about what data are needed to measure the output produced by the medical care sector. Without this kind of information it is impossible to credibly assess whether the nation spends too much or too little on medical care relative to, say, public health measures, and, perhaps more important, whether we purchase something close to the right mix of medical care goods and services for a given level of resources expended.
These books and others can provide information and direction for health care cost research and decision making.
|Improving Health Care Cost Projections for the Medicare Population: Summary of a Workshop
Developing credible short-term and long-term projections of Medicare health care costs is critical for public- and private-sector policy planning, but faces challenges and uncertainties. There is uncertainty not only in the underlying economic and demographic…
|Accounting for Health and Health Care: Approaches to Measuring the Sources and Costs of Their Improvement
It has become trite to observe that increases in health care costs have become unsustainable. How best for policy to address these increases, however, depends in part on the degree to which they represent increases in the real quantity of medical services as…
|The Healthcare Imperative: Lowering Costs and Improving Outcomes: Workshop Series Summary
The United States has the highest per capita spending on health care of any industrialized nation but continually lags behind other nations in health care outcomes including life expectancy and infant mortality. National health expenditures are projected to…
|Value in Health Care: Accounting for Cost, Quality, Safety, Outcomes, and Innovations: Workshop Summary
The United States has the highest per capita spending on health care of any industrialized nation. Yet despite the unprecedented levels of spending, harmful medical errors abound, uncoordinated care continues to frustrate patients and providers, and U.S….
|Rewarding Provider Performance: Aligning Incentives in Medicare (Pathways to Quality Health Care Series)
The third installment in the Pathways to Quality Health Care series, Rewarding Provider Performance: Aligning Incentives in Medicare, continues to address the timely topic of the quality of health care in America. Each volume in the series…
|Medicare’s Quality Improvement Organization Program: Maximizing Potential (Series: Pathways to Quality Health Care)
Medicares Quality Improvement Organization Program is the second book in the new Pathways to Quality Health Care series. Focusing on performance improvement, it considers the history, role, and effectiveness of the Quality Improvement…
|Performance Measurement: Accelerating Improvement (Pathways to Quality Health Care Series)
Performance Measurement is the first in a new series of an ongoing effort by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to improve health care quality. Performance Measurement offers a comprehensive review of available measures and introduces a new framework to…