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Commentary

The Quality Cure?
The New York Times, 3-13-05

The subject of this extended article and interview is David Cutler, renowned Harvard economist and health care guru. Cutler is a smart and articulate advocate for shifting our national debate on health care from costs to quality, and encourages policymakers to begin “paying for [health care] performance.”

“[Cutler] says that most health-care spending is actually good. Spending has been rising, he says, because it delivers positive, and measurable economic value, and because it can do more things that Americans want. Therefore…we should focus on improving the quality of care rather than on reducing our consumption of it.”

Cutler thinks we can accomplish this transformation through a twofold approach: “First, he proposes a variant of the voucher system. let the government finance people’s – everyone’s – health care, with tax credits to be spent on private providers or insurers. But vouchers would only broaden the system, not improve it. To accomplish the latter, Cutler wants insurers, both public and private, to redesign the way doctors and hospitals are compensated, to give them an incentive to compete on quality.”



Project FDA.
  
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