More on Cost Per Unit in the US

Health care costs come from utilization and cost per unit.  We’ve given a lot of attention to variation and the many pockets of overutilization in this country – and these are a real issue.  However, as Uwe Reinhardt has said, “It’s the prices, stupid.”

Ezra Klein of the Washington Post did an excellent two-part interview with George Halverson, the CEO of Kaiser Permanente, and linked to slides from the International Federation of Health Plans showing that the cost of units of service are much higher than in other countries. 

When we’re thinking of how to lower health care costs, we’ll need to address the issue of cost per unit if we want to achieve affordable health care.