"Affordable" Health Care: Improving ROI

U.S. health care consumers pay much more for drugs, devices, and medical services. U.S. health care costs are 17.6% of GDP; for Canada, 11.4%; for the 34 OECD countries, 9.5%. The bottom line: the outcomes are not better, despite the higher level of investment. Now comes news that U.S. hospitals are merging faster and in larger numbers. The driver? The Affordable Care Act, which changes how hospitals are paid by the government and by private insurers, from fee-based volume of service to the total cost of a patient’s care, creating an incentive to keep patients healthy i.e. out of hospitals. This merger trend offers many opportunities to reduce costs. Health care professionals who are thinking innovatively should make the   “affordable” in the new health law kick in with full force.

John Howell, Editorial Director