While the pace of growth for health care costs recently slowed due to the recession, a bipartisan group of former lawmakers predicts faster growth in the coming years due to population increase, utilization and intensity of services, and rising prices, according to a report from the Bipartisan Policy Center, a group of former lawmakers. BPC identified 13 cost drivers ranging from structural barriers to reducing costs in the current system to the changes that will impact the overall growth rate of health care spending:

  • fee-for-service reimbursement
  • fragmentation in care delivery
  • administrative burden on providers, payers and patients
  • aging population, rising rates of chronic disease, and lifestyle factors and personal health choices
  • advances in medical technology
  • tax treatment of health insurance
  • insurance benefit design
  • lack of transparency about cost and quality to inform consumer choice
  • cultural biases that influence care utilization
  • changing trends in market consolidation and competition
  • high unit prices of medical services
  • the health care legal and regulatory environment
  • structure and supply of the health professional workforce

For more information, go to www.bipartisanpolicy.org.