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Institute of Medicine (US) Roundtable on Evidence-Based Medicine; Yong PL, Saunders RS, Olsen LA, editors. The Healthcare Imperative: Lowering Costs and Improving Outcomes: Workshop Series Summary. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2010.

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The Healthcare Imperative: Lowering Costs and Improving Outcomes: Workshop Series Summary.

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Health reform is driven by the needs of the 47 million uninsured in this country and is also propelled by the central issue of cost. Escalating national healthcare expenditures engulf a rapidly enlarging fraction of the federal budget. Businesses pass part of the soaring costs on to their employees in the form of rising health insurance premiums. Families struggle to pay their healthcare bills, and many have delayed seeking necessary and important care.

Since 2006, the Institute of Medicine has assembled the diverse leadership across the health care system—including patient and consumer, provider, manufacturer, payer, research and policy representatives—under the auspices of our Roundtable on Value & Science-Driven Health Care (formerly the Roundtable on Evidence-Based Medicine) to engage the pressing issues confronting the U.S. healthcare delivery system today. Under the guidance of its membership, the Roundtable developed the vision of a learning health system, one in which evidence development is not merely an occasional byproduct of health care, but one in which evidence capture and analysis, as well as its application, is systematically structured as an integral and natural component of the care process. Building on its efforts to enhance the value obtained from health expenditures and with the generous support of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, the Roundtable convened stakeholders from across the healthcare field in a series of four 2-day meetings, titled The Healthcare Imperative: Lowering Costs and Improving Outcomes. These sessions were devoted to understanding the sources of excess costs in health care, reviewing what is known about ways to reduce the excess, and identifying policy solutions.

This summary highlights the presentations and discussions from these workshops, delving into the major causes of excess spending, waste, and inefficiency in health care; considering the strategies that might reduce per capita health spending in the United States while improving health outcomes and preserving innovation; and exploring the policy options that would facilitate those strategies. The ideas and observations throughout this volume are offered in the belief that health reform, now and in the future, will benefit from identifying actionable options to lower healthcare costs in ways that maximize value.

I would like to extend my personal thanks especially to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and its President, David Walker, to the Planning Committee assembled for the series, to the Roundtable membership for their continued leadership and commitment to advancing health care in this nation, and to the Roundtable staff for their contributions in coordinating and supporting the meeting series and ongoing Roundtable activities.

Harvey V. Fineberg, M.D., Ph.D.

President, Institute of Medicine

Copyright © 2010, National Academy of Sciences.
Bookshelf ID: NBK53929


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