December 13, 2021

Top 10 PBGH Innovate Blog Posts of 2021

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 saw a flurry of activity in health care markets and legislation focused on reducing health care costs and improving quality.

The PBGH Innovate blog features articles written by PBGH and other experts about drug prices and fights over legislation to reign them in, health care market consolidation, payment reform, surprise medical bills, hospital price transparency, advanced primary care and beyond. This year, we also launched a blog series called The Real Cost of Health Care as a part of our Fair Health Costs initiative. This series takes a hard look at the outsized role of hospital pricing in rising health care costs, and the market and legislative fixes necessary to reduce unsustainable cost increases for American businesses and families.

Here are the 10 most widely read Innovate blog posts of 2021:

10. Private Equity Poses Grave Threat to Health Care System

Operating largely beneath the public and regulatory radar, private equity firms have gravitated toward health care over the past decade in pursuit of outsized profits.

9. Late Pressure to Change Surprise Billing Rules Could Derail Savings

An eleventh-hour bid by private equity companies, hospitals and other provider interests threatens to torpedo Congress’ objectives of protecting patients from exorbitant, surprise medical bills and constraining soaring health care costs.

8. U.S. Employers Sacrificing Competitiveness in the Global Economy

With 60% of Americans getting their health care coverage through their jobs, large and small employers alike are justifiably concerned about rising costs of care.

7. Despite Claims, Vertical Integration Isn’t Great for Health Care Consumers or Purchasers

In 2017, pharmacy giant CVS announced it was purchasing insurer Aetna for $69 billion in the largest-ever health care merger.

6. The Real Cost of Health Care: Hospitals Dragging Their Feet on Price Transparency

This year’s landmark federal rule requiring the nation’s 6,000 hospitals to begin making pricing data available publicly was supposed to help consumers and purchasers shop more intelligently for health care services. But whether that’s actually occurring seems questionable.

5. Support for Government Intervention Needed to Solve Rising Health Care Costs

Ever-rising health care costs are causing many across the political spectrum to rethink their priorities and positions on key health care policy issues.

4. Congress Must Keep Its Promise to Lower Drug Costs for All Americans

If the reconciliation bill currently being debated in Congress includes Medicare-only drug price limits, the 180 million Americans with private health coverage would be left behind.

3. A Conversation with Don Berwick, M.D.: Addressing Social Determinants of Health Essential to Reining In Health Care Costs

Health care’s exorbitant costs can never be controlled without fundamentally shifting society’s focus toward the underlying social and economic conditions.

2. Using Primary Care’s Potential to Improve Health Outcomes

Through successive initiatives and in collaboration with a diverse group of committed stakeholders, PBGH has spearheaded efforts to create a blueprint for “advanced primary care.”

1. Seeing Through Pharma’s “Free Market” Façade

Throughout this year’s drug pricing debate – and for many years before – the brand-name pharmaceutical industry has resisted public policy efforts to reduce their sky-high prices by arguing any intervention is a violation of the free market.

Here’s the problem with the drug industry’s top talking point: It’s a lie.