Bending the healthcare cost curve (and keeping the reform delay in perspective)

We’re seeing lots of concern over the fate of reform (with some questioning if it is even reform we’re attempting). Analysts are viewing the delay as a silver lining, a tactical opportunity, or even a welcome timeout. Whatever your perspective, there is surely more to come.

One of the reform priorities that has not yet been fully fleshed out has to do with costhow do we pay for reform, and how do we bend the cost curve over time. What people sometimes forget is that the rate of cost increase has decreased in the last three years (though unfortunately a decline in the cost trend still leaves us with hefty increases in terms of total dollars). Meanwhile there are plenty of good ideas for continuing to bend the curve in a more affordable direction.

Here’s one. Milliman principal John Pickering has developed a new approach to insurance design—market-based insurance design—that brings price competition to providers.