Top Economists, Leaders Propose New Ideas for Improving Health System

From 1998 to 2002, the Council on the Economic Impact of Health System Change at Brandeis University, Waltham, Mass., (renamed the Council on Health Care Economics and Policy in February 2002) continued its work to identify critical issues brought about by health system change and to generate new ideas for improving the financing and delivery of health services in the United States.

A private, nonpartisan group of nationally recognized economists and industry leaders, the council convenes regular "forums," including the annual "Princeton Conferences"—begun in 1993 with funding from RWJF—in which council members, policy-makers and industry leaders analyze pressing health care topics.

For these meetings, the council often conducts or commissions original research and then disseminates proceedings, findings and recommendations. The meetings are generally open to the public and the media. Stuart Altman, PhD, of the Schneider Institute for Health Care Policy at Brandeis University directs the council's work. RWJF has supported the council since 1993, and provided a grant of $1,527,631 to convene 14 meetings during the grant period.

Key Results

  • Nine one-day meetings in Washington—attended by congressional staff, senior managers in federal health regulatory agencies, leading health policy researchers and representatives from the health industry—focused on such topics as technological change and the cost of health care and the economics of prescription drug pricing.
  • Three annual Princeton Conferences focused on "Financing Long-Term Care" (1999), "Access to Pharmaceuticals" (2000) and "The Future of Managed Care" (2001).
  • A three-day retreat for experts only, held in 1999 in Lansdowne, Va., focused on "Policy Options for an Aging Society." The meeting produced 18 original research papers.