Health care costs, which involve payments to hospitals, physicians and other health care providers, have been steadily increasing. Yet, these rising costs do not produce better outcomes for patients.
A growing body of research shows that more services are not associated with better outcomes and can actually do harm. In fact, evidence shows that outcomes and quality of care tend to be better in regions that use fewer resources. Health care organizations serving such regions are simply more efficient, achieving equal—and often better—outcomes with fewer resources.
However, the current payment system rewards higher volumes of services, whether they are warranted or not. We must reward, rather than penalize, provider organizations that successfully reduce excessive care and develop broader community-based strategies for managing patients with chronic illnesses. The Robert Wood Johnson’s Quality/Equality Portfolio is committed to changing the current system into one that rewards providers who deliver high-quality, cost-effective care. As part of this commitment, RWJF has invested into research to determine where the health care system is not working efficiently to deliver high-quality care – and, more importantly, how those systems can be improved. A variety of the most current issue briefs, panel recommendations, reports, and other pertinent materials funded by the Quality/Equality Portfolio can be found below.