A Bipartisan Rx for Patient-Centered Care and System-Wide Cost Containment

The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) Health Care Cost Containment Initiative provides recommendations for containing high and rising health care spending while improving the quality and affordability of care for all Americans.

The BPC Health Care Cost Containment Initiative, led by Former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle and Bill Frist, Former Senate Budget Committee Chairman Peter Domenici, and Former Congressional Budget Office Director Alice Rivlin, PhD, has worked to begin a dialogue about strengthening the U.S. health care system. The initiative believes budget-driven efforts to achieve health care savings alone will fail; public and private health care saving must be an outgrowth of health reform, not the underlying reason for it.

To this end, the current report addresses the critical goal of containing high and rising health care spending, while improving the quality and affordability of care for all Americans. The initiative’s work is characterized by a focus on improving the health system for patients and families, and by bipartisanship.

In the long term, we envision health care that is value-driven and coordinated through organized systems, rather than volume-driven and fragmented." —Bipartisan Policy Center

Using stakeholder outreach, research, and substantive analytics gathered over a year, this report proposes an approach that is comprehensive and sustainable. The recommendations are aimed at improving how health care is delivered and financed in both the public and private sectors, and spans four broad categories.

  1. Improve and enhance Medicare to incent quality and care coordination;
  2. Reform tax policy and clarify consolidation rules to encourage greater efficiency and competition;
  3. Prioritize quality, prevention, and wellness; and
  4. Incent and empower states to improve care and constrain costs through payment, workforce, and liability reform.

This report recommends three Medicare options for beneficiaries and providers: two within traditional Medicare—the existing "Fee-for-Service" system and a significantly reformed version of ACOs called “Medicare Networks,” as well as a more competitively designed "Medicare Advantage."