Getting Serious About Excessive Medicare Spending

Research Report

Getting Serious About Excessive Medicare Spending

A Purchasing Model
December 10, 2003


While Medicare spending varies widely across the country, increased local spending apparently does not produce differences in quality, access, or even patient satisfaction. Yet policy analysts tend to minimize the importance that as much as 30% of Medicare spending in particular high-spending areas might be excessive and unnecessary. Under most visions of the future of Medicare, there is an imperative to transform the traditional Medicare program from a claims payer to a strategic purchaser, able to adopt a broad array of approaches and use a comprehensive set of tools, some of which are used by private plans, but in a more transparent and accountable way, consistent with Medicare's role as a broad-based social health insurance program.


Cross-Center Initiative

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