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Rising health care costs in Indiana addressed in new IUPUI report

Fairbanks School of Public Health research points to factors that contribute to Hoosier health care costs, outlines actions for statewide strategic plan

For Immediate Release Jan 27, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS – A new report from researchers at the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI details a unique, actionable framework that Indiana leaders can use to address rising health care costs in the state.

The report, “Addressing Factors that Affect Health Care Costs: Recommendations for Indiana Stakeholders,” was led by Nir Menachemi, Richard M. Fairbanks Endowed Chair, professor and chair of the school’s Department of Health Policy and Management, and Paul Halverson, professor and founding dean of the Fairbanks School of Public Health. They designed the report to help move Indiana toward a statewide strategic plan to lower health care costs – especially through coordinated efforts to improve the health of Hoosiers.

“Stakeholders in Indiana have been concerned about rising health care costs,” Menachemi said. “While there has been some discussion around individual factors that affect health care costs in Indiana, this is the first report that comprehensively covers a wide range of evidence-based best practices.

“The recommendations we outline can be used to develop a statewide strategic plan that will bring everyone together to focus on what we can all agree on: lower costs and better health for all people in Indiana.”

The report includes three main sections:

  • A characterization of the health care context in Indiana.
  • A literature synthesis of how 16 different factors affect overall costs of care and/or population health outcomes.
  • Recommendations for stakeholder action based on conclusions from the literature syntheses and the Indiana context.

Each of the 16 factors that affect rising health care costs was derived from consultation with experts, stakeholders and public calls for policy changes.

“Our report details the factors that the state of Indiana has direct control over,” Halverson said. “The scientific nature of this study was designed to level the playing field so that all stakeholders have the most up-to-date information. We have also designated specific roles for stakeholders for each recommendation.”

There is no simple solution to reduce costs and improve health. While Indiana has unique challenges, opportunities exist to improve health and implement change by tapping into the expertise, assets and motivation of stakeholders who can assure the continued economic vitality of the Hoosier state.

“A shared understanding of what determines health care costs is the first step for stakeholders to work together,” Menachemi said. “We have developed a long list of recommendations that we believe stakeholders collectively need to implement to make a difference.

“Taken alone, any one of these recommendations might be insufficient. But the right portfolio of actions will create lasting change in Indiana.”

About the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI

Located on Indiana’s premier research and health sciences campus, the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI is committed to advancing the public’s health and well-being through education, innovation and leadership. The Fairbanks School of Public Health is known for its expertise in biostatistics, epidemiology, cancer research, community health, environmental public health, global health, health policy and health services administration.

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IU Newsroom

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Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI

Amanda Briggs

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