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Ginsburg Health Affairs’ Article Outlines Health Care Competition in Last Decade
Future Role of Competition in U.S. Health Care System Remains Open Question
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Editors Note: To obtain an electronic copy of the Health Affairs articles, reporters may e-mail Alwyn Cassil at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the article, Ginsburg outlines the evolution of health care competition in the past decade against the backdrop of the rise and fall of managed care. The article then explores the current interest in engaging consumers more actively in the health care system and how the "greatest potential for a larger role for consumers lies in mechanisms that apply competitive pressure on providers to improve the quality of care that they provide and reduce their costs."
Ginsburg points out that the highly consolidated nature of most local health
care markets makes it challenging for competition to foster higher quality and
reduced costs. He concludes that, "The public is likely to be less accepting
of changes in how they get medical care than in how they purchase airline services.
They will have to be shown that these changes are benefiting them with lower
costs or higher quality. Public policymakers take great risks if competition
is their only strategy to address cost and quality problems in health care."
The Center for Studying Health System Change is a nonpartisan policy research organization committed to providing objective and timely research on the nations changing health system to help inform policy makers and contribute to better health care policy. HSC, based in Washington, D.C., is funded principally by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is affiliated with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Health Affairs, published by Project HOPE, is the leading journal of health policy.