"To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom....Since our office is with moments, let us husband them."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Do You Have a Billion Dollars Lying Around?

We had an interesting reading associated with Tuesday's lecture in my Health Care in Scandinavia course. The reading can be found at http://rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9169/. Pretty much what this fact sheet says is that over a billion dollars a year could be saved if insurance companies lowered co-payments on prescription pharmaceuticals. This assumption is based on the data, which showed that for every $10 rise in co-payment, compliance decreased by 5%, and if there is a higher compliance in taking pharmaceuticals by reducing co-payments for those sick or at a high-risk of becoming sick and higher co-payments for low-risk patients, then there is a greater proportion of healthier patients, which could result in 80,000 to 90,000 fewer hospitalizations and 30,000 to 35,000 fewer ER visits. All of this equates to a savings of $1,000,000,000. That's a lot of money.

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