Over on the Health Affairs blog last week, one of our senior researchers David Schleifer made the case that, if policymakers want to move payment reform in health care forward, they must not neglect engaging the public.
Growth in health care costs has been slowing recently. But if we want to make that slowdown stick, we'll likely have to reform the way we pay doctors and hospitals. In fact, nearly every serious proposal for reducing costs includes payment reform.
Experts we've spoken to have been skeptical about the public's interest in discussing health care costs -- especially payment reform, as it's a pretty wonky and technical part of the health care cost conversation.
However, our recent research suggests that, under the right conditions, members of the public are interested in talking about payment reform, and they can do so thoughtfully and civilly. We walked participants through the current fee-for-service system and what reform could look like. This experience helped them better understand why they had been subject to care that they described as overly aggressive and how reform may affect them personally.
In our experience, lack of meaningful citizen engagement on tough policy choices can lead to pushback. Our research, however, demonstrated that the public could play a productive role in advancing payment reform. But to do so, health care leaders will need to do a much better job engaging patients and the public than they have in the past.
Read David's Health Affairs blog post in full here. We'd love for you to share it with your colleagues and associates. If you're on Twitter, here are a few tweets you can easily copy and paste:
If policymakers want to move #healthcare payment reform forward, they must not neglect engaging the public. ow.ly/u6LMJ
Payment reform could help the slowdown in #healthcare costs stick. So what do #patients think? ow.ly/u6LMJ
Patients speak up on #healthcare payment reform: ow.ly/u6LMJ
What do #patients think about the way #doctors are paid? ow.ly/u6LMJ #healthcare