Health Care Transformation Task Force Statement on the Congressional Budget Report on Health Care Spending

Statement by Jeff Micklos, Executive Director, HCTTF

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently announced it had overestimated mandatory health care spending for 2010 to 2020 by a whopping nine percent. The Health Care Transformation Task Force amplifies this news as proof positive that value-based care is having a positive impact on our nation’s health care system.   

A key factor contributing to lower-than-expected health care spending over the last decade was reduced spending on patients with cardiovascular disease. This was attributed to better care management and efforts to control clinical risk factors, including greater use of medications to control hypertension and diabetes. Supporting care management services for chronic diseases is at the core of value-based care delivery transformation, and these strategies are likely to be positively impacting patients with conditions well beyond cardiovascular disease. 

CBO also notes another factor contributing to the lower-than-expected spending: a change in the way new technology affects health care spending. Historically, the adoption of new technology has resulted in increased spending. Yet, over the past decade this pattern has shifted suggesting providers are increasingly focusing on cost saving technology. Payment models at the core of value-based care incentivize providing patients with the right care, at the right time, in the right setting. This creates clear incentives for providers to focus investment in technologies that both improve quality and help control spending.            

The CBO’s findings are not surprising to Task Force members. Last year, the Task Force released a report that highlighted the slowdown in national health expenditures over the past decade, findings now further validated by CBO’s new report. The best news: CBO indicates that this slower spending growth is expected for the next decade compared to original CBO estimates. Value-based care is working!