Borrowing Business Practices to Improve Medicare

From 1995 to 2001, George Washington University started the Health Insurance Reform Project (HIRP) to help policy-makers and others in the health care field understand changes and innovations occurring in the health care and insurance markets. HIRP developed a number of recommendations, such as:

  • Medicare could benefit from adapting some private sector innovations in providing health care to consumers.
  • Recent Medicare reform, which allows both a government-run model and a private-sector model, could serve as a model for broader health care reform.

Key Findings

Among the findings and recommendations were:

  • Medicare could benefit from adapting some private sector innovations in providing health care to consumers.
  • Recent Medicare reform, which allows both a government-run model and a private-sector model, could serve as a model for broader health care reform.
  • HMO Medicare benefits should be subject to a minimal level of standardization in order to reduce beneficiary confusion when comparing plans.
  • Flexible tax credits and other measures could help uninsured workers and their children receive health coverage.
  • A national retirement policy that coordinates Medicare, Social Security and private pension reforms could make substantial progress in dealing with retirement problems in the baby-boom generation.