PHE’s Jason Shafrin publishes an influential healthcare economics and policy blog, the Healthcare Economist. The blog has won numerous awards, including Intelligent Economist’s listing of the Top 100 Economics Blogs of 2018. In this edition of High Leverage Outlier, we feature some of the blog’s policy-relevant insights.

Can we save money and still maintain quality?

Examining recent evidence of the increasing use of non-physician in primary care practices and differences between teaching hospitals and non-teaching hospitals in quality, Dr. Shafrin comments on how trends to reduce healthcare spending may have uncertain impacts on quality. This calls for careful consideration of the design of value-based initiatives.

Do hospital purchases of physician practices increase or decrease prices?

Dr. Shafrin cites recent evidence on how hospital consolidation, including acquisition of physician practices, is likely to substantially increase prices faced by consumers.

An evaluation of the American Patients First blueprint

“In broad strokes, the American Patients First plan aims to lower list prices, lower patients’ out-of-pocket costs while maintaining incentives for innovation. In short, this is a sensible strategy, although there are some concerns about how more restrictive formulary designs could restrict consumer choice.”

Read more at the Healthcare Economist blog.