Fundamentals Briefing

Health Policy Essentials: Medicare and Health Care Spending
February 6, 2015

Manager

Sally Coberly, PhD

Summary

This briefing provided an overview of national spending trends as well as a detailed review of the Medicare program, which provides health care coverage to over 55 million Americans. Considerable attention was focused on health care spending, drivers of spending growth, the dynamics of health care marketplaces and their impact on costs, beneficiary eligibility and enrollment, beneficiary cost sharing and out-of-pocket expenses, supplemental coverage including Medigap, provider payment policies and changes stemming from the ACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) legislation, the physician fee schedule, and the SGR (Sustainable Growth Rate). A panel of staff from the committees of jurisdiction discussed legislative priorities for the 114th Congress.

Speakers

Martin Gaynor, PhD (bio)
E.J. Barone Professor of Economics and Health Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

   Slides: "Health Care Spending in the United States: What? Who Cares? Why? What Do We Do About It?"


James Cosgrove, PhD
(bio)
Director, Health Care, U.S. Government Accountability Office

   Slides: "Medicare Overview"


Lisa Potetz, MPP
(bio)
Principal, Health Policy Alternatives, Inc.

   Slides: "Medicare Cost Sharing and Supplemental Coverage"


Jim Mathews, PhD
(bio)
Deputy Director, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
   Slides: "Medicare Payment Policy and Its Impact on Program Spending"


Jessica Farb, MA
(bio)
Assistant Director, Health Care, U.S. Government Accountability Office

   Slides: "Medicare's Physician Payment System and the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR)"


PANEL OF CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE STAFF

Amy Hall, MPA (bio)
Staff Director (D), Subcommittee on Health, Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives

Erin Dempsey (bio)
Healthcare Policy Advisor (R), Committee on Finance, U.S. Senate

Joshua B. (Josh) Trent (bio)
Professional Staff Member (R), Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives

Nick Uehlecke (bio)
Professional Staff Member (R), Subcommittee on Health, Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives

Related Materials

See the briefing book compiled for this series of Health Policy Essentials briefings, which includes the recordings of presentations (when permission has been given), speakers' slides, reading materials provided, and additional resources.

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