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  • Palliative care is one of the fastest growing areas in health care, with three times as many hospitals providing palliative services today as did just 15 years ago.

  • Annual spending for cancer treatment in the U.S. is set to reach $184 billion by 2020. The large and growing bill has raised concerns that fee-for-service payments for oncology are promoting over-treatment and use of more expensive drugs irrespective of patient benefit. 

  • This health policy briefing on Capitol Hill will bring together top health care leaders with diverse business and policy expertise to share their unique perspectives as key players in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, market leaders driving change, and policy experts with alternative ideas for the future of health care.

  • Drug abuse during pregnancy is a growing problem, evidenced by the three-fold increase in newborns diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) between 2000 and 2009. Infants with NAS can suffer violent withdrawal symptoms that result in traumatic and costly NICU stays.

  • NIHCM Foundation seeks a highly motivated individual to join our team as a research and policy analyst. The research and policy analyst would support the Foundation’s work to foster public-private collaboration to improve the U.S. health system.

  • With the epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse and related increase in heroin dependence, the health system is facing an alarming rise in neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). NAS afflicts newborns exposed to drugs, most commonly opioids, while in utero.

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Expert Voices: The Future of Health Care Costs: Hospital-Insurer Balance of Power

Austin Frakt, PhD, Health Economist, Department of Veterans Affairs and Assistant Professor, Boston University

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November 2010

There has been considerable scholarly and political debate about the extent to which hospital and insurer consolidations are responsible for rising health insurance premiums. In this essay, Dr. Frakt explains how the balance of market power between hospitals and insurers affects premiums. His review of the evidence drawn from prior research on this topic indicates that excessive market power of hospitals is a significant worry as we seek to contain premium growth. Dr. Frakt offers some cautionary thoughts about the potential danger of increasing market power through the formation of new integrated delivery systems and emphasizes the need for careful enforcement of antitrust, fraud and abuse laws as we move forward with implementation of health reform.

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