The Causes of Rising Health-Care Costs - - Part 2: The Impact of Payment Mechanisms and Government Programs ... A Summary of Hearings Before the Council on Wage and Price Stability

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Because of the continuing rapid inflation in health-care costs, the Council on Wage and Price Stability initiated an inquiry and hearing into the response of consumers, insurers, and providers to the growing problem of health-care cost inflation. Six hearings were held throughout the United States to obtain firsthand information on the causes of the growing cost crisis in the health-care industry and to discuss potential solutions to the problem. Part Two of this report summarizes the testimony offered by the numerous witnesses on the nature and causes of health-care inflation in terms of the impact of the growth of medical insurance coverage on the utilization of services, the retrospective cost reimbursement, and the insurance coverage on the method of care provided. Further testimony focused on proliferation of government regulations, staffing and facility requirements, impact of the Hill-Burton program, and the difficulty of converting hospital beds to nursing beds under the Medicare regulations. Additional witnesses provided information on improper lifestyles causing poor health, lack of consumer knowledge on alternative prices and methods of treatment, and inadequate community planning of new facilities.

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