Covering the uninsured should be Congress's top health care priority over the next five years, say 87 percent of health care experts polled recently. Other top priorities are improving quality and safety of care (including increased use of information technology, 69 percent) and reforms to ensure Medicare's solvency, 50 percent.
The Commonwealth Fund's Health Care Opinion Leaders survey encompasses a broad group of 1,155 health care experts from four sectors — academia, health care delivery, business/insurance, and government/labor/consumer advocacy. Nearly 320 experts responded to the survey.
Half to two-thirds of the respondents in all four sectors rank expanding access to group health insurance (such as the federal employees' health program or Medicaid/CHIP) as a priority. In contrast, fewer than one-fourth of respondents say expanding health savings accounts (22 percent) and tax credits for the uninsured to buy individual insurance (20 percent) are priorities.
Respondents also ranked pay-for-performance methods, such as rewarding efficient providers and effective disease management, and increased use of information technology as either the first or second priority for controlling health care costs and improving quality. These were ranked high by more than two-thirds of total respondents (69 percent and 67 percent, respectively).
Source: The Commonwealth Fund