Health Savers Initiative

 

The Health Savers Initiative is a project of West Health, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), and Arnold Ventures, which identifies bold and concrete policy options to make healthcare more affordable for the federal government, businesses, and households. The purpose of the Health Savers Initiative is to develop policy-ready options that will lower healthcare costs economy-wide, reduce the cost of healthcare and its impact on families, and save money for the federal government.

 

Each policy option is accompanied by an issue brief along with federal budget and national health expenditure impact scores. While the options presented just some of the many ideas on the table, our collaboration has incorporated specifications and savings estimates to allow policymakers to weigh costs and benefits and gain a better understanding of health savings policies.

Equalizing Medicare Payments Regardless of Site-of-Care

This brief addresses the fact that Medicare payments for similar procedures vary widely based on site-of-service, incenting provider consolidation and driving up costs for the federal government and the private sector.

Reducing Medicare Advantage Overpayments

This brief addresses overpayments to private insurance plans in the Medicare Advantage program that reduce market incentives for innovation by allowing plans to profit from the overpayments rather than through improvements to the quality and efficiency of their product.

Capping Hospital Prices

This brief addresses the high hospital prices paid by commercial insurance plans. On average, commercial plans pay more than twice as much as Medicare, with some hospitals charging three or four times as much. Those commercial prices are fueled by several factors, including increasing market consolidation and “must-have” hospitals using their market power to negotiate higher prices.

Injecting Price Competition into Medicare Part B Drugs 

This brief examines how a new payment formula for physician-administered drugs in Medicare Part B could inject price competition into drug classes that have clinically comparable options but wide price variation – blunting the advantage that higher-priced drugs have under the current formula. 

Limiting Evergreening for Name-Brand Prescription Drugs

This brief examines how changing Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules that grant market exclusivity to name-brand drugs could increase generic competition, curtailing manufacturers ability to take advantage of the current rules by using “evergreening” strategies to extend their exclusivity periods and either delay generic drug market entry or limit the number of patients who switch to a new generic.

Initiative Launch Event


After the release of the first three Health Savers Initiative briefs, West Health, the Committee for the Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), and Arnold Ventures hosted an event featuring remarks from Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID), and a panel of experts discussing necessary policy interventions that should be on the health care policy agenda.

 

Presenters and Panelists:

  • Cristina Boccuti, West Health Policy Center
  • Michael Chernew, Harvard Medical School
  • Josh Gordon, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
  • Tricia Neuman, Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Erica Socker, Arnold Ventures