Roundtable: Rising to the Health Care Cost Challenge

Friday, November 8, 2019: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
I.M Pei Tower: Terrace Level, Terrace (Sheraton Denver Downtown)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Organizer:  Neeraj Sood, University of Southern California
Moderator:  Neeraj Sood, University of Southern California
Speakers:  Dana Goldman, University of Southern California, Kosali Simon, Indiana University; National Bureau of Economic Research and Jose Escarce, University of California, Los Angeles

US health care costs continue to rise and as a result the US faces many health policy challenge. To state a few:

  • The Medicare trust fund faces a high insolvency riskin the coming decade unless benefits are cut dramatically
  • States are spending an increasing fractionof their budgets on Medicaid taking away resources from competing needs such as education and infrastructure
  • Prescription drugs costs are unaffordable with some medicines cost well over US per capita income for a single course of treatment


In response to these challenges, policy makers and private markets have proposed many solution such as:

  • Promoting high deductibles health plans
  • Mergers of hospitals, doctors, health plans
  • Block grants for Medicaid
  • Value based payments in Medicare
  • Changes to the organization of pharmaceutical markets
  • State regulations to improve price transparency


These solutions could have wide ranging effects on the US health care system also affect employment and output outside of health care. This roundtable gets together leading national experts on US health care policy to discuss and debate:

  • Which are the most promising solutions?
  • What are the implications for health care disparities and equity?
  • What are the consequences outside of health care?


This session will be chaired by Prof Neeraj Sood, Phd,  a professor of health policy at the USC Price School of Public Policy and a founding member the USC Schaeffer Center. Roundtable experts will include 

  • José J. Escarce, MD, PhD, a Professor of Medicine in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Professor of Health Policy and Management in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and Senior Natural Scientist at RAND. Dr. Escarce has published extensively on a variety of topics including physician behavior, medical technology adoption, racial and socioeconomic differences in health care, and the effects of market forces on access, costs, and quality of care.
  • Kosali Simon, PhD, the Herman B Wells Endowed Professor at O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana. She specializes in applying economic analysis in the context of health insurance and health care policy. Her current research mainly focuses on the impact of health insurance reform on healthcare and labor market outcomes, and on the causes and consequences of the opioid crisis. She is also active in national leadership roles in her profession, serving on several boards and in editorial positions. 
  • Dana Goldman, PhD, the Leonard D. Schaeffer Director’s Chair at the University of Southern California and is the founding director of the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. He is a Distinguished Professor of public policy, pharmacy, and economics at USC. He is a health policy advisor to the Congressional Budget Office and a member of the MacArthur Research Network on an Aging Society. Dr. Goldman is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and a past recipient of the National Institute for Health Care Management Research Foundation award for excellence in health policy.

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