The Priciest Part of Health Care — And What To Do About It

BY Paul Solman  November 22, 2013 at 11:40 AM EDT

By David Cutler

Hospitalization is the most expensive health care cost in Massachusetts, but why is it so expensive and does it have to be that way? Harvard’s David Cutler argues that there’s a way to make hospitalization more cost-efficient, and more importantly, to reform the health care system so that hospitalization is a last resort. Everyone does better, he argues, when the health care system is rewarded for keeping patients out of the hospital.

Cutler’s state of Massachusetts passed a law in 2006 expanding health care coverage, which has served as a model for the Affordable Care Act. But the state has the most expensive health care in the nation. Thursday on the Business Desk, Cutler explained how Massachusetts is trimming its health care costs. Watch our broadcast segment on the state’s efforts to incentivize better care and cut services that don’t improve health here and read more of our extended conversation with Cutler here.

This entry is cross-posted on the Rundown — NewsHour’s blog of news and insight.