[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 27-Jul-2009
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Contact: Mary Mahon
Commonwealth Fund

Health care leaders say need for reform is urgent

Majority of health care leaders support public health care option, provider payment reform, and a national insurance exchange with standard-setting authority

New York, N.Y., July 27, 2009óBy a wide margin, health care leaders believe that individuals should have a choice of public and private health plans, and strongly support other central components of health reform such as innovative provider payment reform and a national insurance health exchange with strong standard-setting authority. In addition, two-thirds (68%) of opinion leaders feel it is urgent to enact comprehensive health care reform this year, according to the latest Commonwealth Fund/Modern Healthcare Health Care Opinion Leaders Survey.

"These results show that leaders from all the key stakeholder groups agree: comprehensive health care reform is urgently needed, to rein in costs and ensure that all Americans have access to affordable quality care," said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis. "Leaders also agree that offering a range of insurance options, and changing the way we pay for health care are critical steps for controlling the growth in health care spending over the next decade."

Seven of 10 respondents to the survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, support the creation of a national health insurance exchange with the authority to enforce standards of participation by carriers, standardize benefits, set rating rules, and review or negotiate premiums. Two-thirds (65%) say that the exchange should offer a public plan that incorporates innovative payment methods, moving away from traditional fee-for-service and toward bundled payments. Half of opinion leaders (51%) support setting provider payment rates in a public insurance plan either at Medicare levels or between Medicare and commercial plan levels.

Other findings from the survey include:


The survey is the 19th in a series from The Commonwealth Fund, and the eleventh conducted in partnership with the publication Modern Healthcare. Commentaries on the survey results by Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Congressman Michael C. Burgess (R-TX) appear in the July 27 issue of Modern Healthcare. The commentaries are also posted on the Fund's Web site, www.commonwealthfund.org, along with a Commission data brief discussing the survey findings.

Methodology: The Commonwealth Fund/Modern HealthCare Health Care Opinion Leaders Survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of The Commonwealth Fund between June 8, 2009 and July 8, 2009 among 585 opinion leaders in health policy and innovators in health care delivery and finance. The final sample included 208 respondents from various industries, for a response rate of 35.6 percent. Data from this survey were not weighted. A full methodology is available in Appendix A.

The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation supporting independent research on health policy reform and a high performance health system.

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