NPC in AJPB: Having a Broader Conversation About Health Care Spending

NPC President Dan Leonard

Over the past decade, creative thinkers in government, industry and academia have grappled with one of health care’s biggest challenges: how to slow the pace of spending while improving access to care. Their efforts have led to changes in public policy and spawned experiments in value-based contracts and other novel payment and delivery models. By some measures, these efforts are already paying off, with health care utilization taking a dip and recent government projections for annual net expenditures growth slightly lower than earlier estimates.

On the surface, these trends seem encouraging. But what if it turns out that spending projections are down because families hit with higher insurance premiums and coinsurance are skipping doctor’s appointments or leaving prescriptions unfilled? In that case, can we honestly say that these efforts have been successful?
In his latest column for the American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits, National Pharmaceutical Council President Dan Leonard argues it’s time for us to have a broader, more honest conversation about health care spending to better understand these trends. Read his column to learn more about the daunting questions we need to ask, as well as how to consider which metrics or measures of health and longevity are reasonable and sensible for our society.

Read the commentary on the AJPB website.