New online tool evaluates health reform scenarios

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

The RAND Corporation has released an online tool designed to help people “understand, design, and evaluate health policies.” The tool, COMPARE (Comprehensive Assessment of Reform Efforts), has sections about current health care, policy options, an analysis of options and modeling estimates. A “Policy Options Dashboard” allows users to explore the effects of commonly proposed health care reforms by customizing the options and clicking on links that explain concepts.

According to Healthcare IT News,

“Results on the dashboard are informed by a review of prior experience with the policy options and a microsimulation modeling tool that allows policymakers to estimate the impact of specific policy changes on coverage, spending, consumer financial risk and health.”

The “Modeling Estimates” section lets users select parameters and scenarios to see the effect such choices would have on the health care system.

The “Proposals” area of the site offers information about state initiatives in health care policy that have been porposed or implemented, as well as options proposed in federal legislation and proposals made by a number of professional organizations, private foundations and other groups.

The site includes a detailed explanation of what it is, how it works and who the funders and advisory committee are.

1 thought on “New online tool evaluates health reform scenarios

  1. JT Russell

    There was a time when, if you wanted to become a physician, the bankrolling required more than the velleity of simply making the making the choice and the financing appears.
    Then in the 1950’s and 1960’s the (then) HEW came up with what seemed a simple solution to the health care conundrum: financial aid to medical schools. They planned to flood the market with new MD’s and so cause increased competition to lower the cost factor attributable to doctors’ incomes.
    In the mid 1970’s I was a dinner guest of a brilliant couple of Washington health apparatchiks. He was (among other things) guiding the nascent EPSDT program. And she (the sister of one of the Brookings Institution’s leading economists) was eventually to become the Director of the National Center for Health Statistics. In short, not only were they broadly wired into the beltway health establishment, they had their hands on the steering wheel.
    Another guest that evening was the wife of a health economist who had recently been jilted by her co-researcher husband. And she was getting back at him by blabbing about the results of their latest findings, before they had been published: financial support of medical education was having the opposite effect on health costs than they had anticipated!
    Although the money given to Medical Schools had worked to increase the supply of physicians, there hadn’t been the expected depressive influence on doc’s incomes. They had found that wherever there were new MD graduates, they would produce medical care and make a handsome income while doing it. The equation was more docs=more procedures and higher medical costs—not lower fees.
    By producing more Docs, Washington had increased the supply of costly medical care providers who continued to command a great return on the investment the government had made in their education.
    There was amused consternation around the dinner table. Medical Economics had not responded to the “Law” of supply and demand. “Well, maybe we’ll do better with this new entity, The HMO.”

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