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Prof Uwe Reinhardt, Princeton University

by Lloyd Davis

whcc europe 2008 021I’m going to be the skunk at the garden party :) and debunk some common myths

Population aging drives health spending
Population is aging and relative health spending per capita is going up, but the aging of the population is not a major driver of health spending through the demand side, it may be a unit-cost driver on the supply side encouraging the development of labour-saving organisational innovation and technical innovation (electronic monitoring etc)

Preventive health care saves money
The evidence is weak, though it may lead to longer life and higher quality of life.

Healthcare spending is a drag on the economy
No, it’s a high-value-added powerful locomotive, however it pulls along a dubious cargo, ie waste fraud and abuse

Doctors know best
Since there is still wide and unexplainable variation between healthcare cost and quality in similar geographical areas, only clinical practice guidelines can be relied on.

Best provided by private sector
Government needs to put money into orchestrating the development of national health information systems - private approaches in the US have not been able to find a business model for hospitals to participate.

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