The question of costs and quality of medical care is still among the most discussed topics in healthcare because the most effective ways of controlling costs have not been found yet. The problem is strictly interconnected with the presence of unnecessary medical tests and overtreatment. Nowadays, the issue of controlling medical costs is discussed with regard to healthcare cost variations between states, special teams to work with super-utilizers, access to lab tests, and drug prices.
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In his discussion of healthcare costs, Dr. Brenner highlights the need to focus on reducing healthcare spending in some particular states such as New Jersey and making medicine more evidence-based (TEDx Talks, 2012). The researcher mentions a range of strategies that can help control medical costs, for instance, increasing the number of high-utilizer work groups and the use of the model similar to JIT in healthcare (TEDx Talks, 2012; “A revolutionary approach to improving healthcare delivery,” 2014).
Discussing the approach to cost reduction, Brenner places emphasis on defining super-utilizers in healthcare and studying crime concentration to predict demand for healthcare services and, therefore, manage costs.
Despite the failure of his reform efforts, Brenner’s approach to addressing high costs can serve as a basis for future strategies. Other specialists in the field have their own opinions concerning the primary areas of attention related to managing costs. Thus, many researchers suppose that reducing drug prices, reducing the costs of lab tests, and making care plans more individualized should become the key steps on the path toward affordable and high-quality medical care (Dentzer, 2015; Overley, 2015). The assigned readings provide a range of ideas that are worth noticing, but uniting them to design one comprehensive cost reduction strategy can be nearly impossible, which makes priority setting inevitable.
Dentzer, S. (2015). Getting to the essence of value in health care. Web.
TEDx Talks. (2012). Bending the cost curve in healthcare: Jeffrey Brenner at TEDxBigApple. Web.