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To Shop Smart, Patients Need to Know Price of Care: Peter Orszag

Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Over the past few years, the growth in health-care costs has quietly been slowing down. Naturally, we’d like to make this trend last. That means we’ll need to avoid betting big on just one strategy.

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office reported that many Medicare pilot projects that were designed to reduce costs actually haven’t done so. But the CBO suggested there may be promise in a “bundled-payment” approach, under which insurers pay a single comprehensive fee for treating a particular disease, rather than many fees for specific doctor visits and therapies. The health-care law includes provisions to expand bundled payments, and they should be aggressively adopted.