Health care technology in the United States

Sean R. Tunis, Hellen Gelband

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The US health care system reflects the free market of the US economy-there is no fixed budget and no limit on expenditures in the loosely structured matrix of largely private-sector health industry components. Mainly because of the inaccessibility of adequate health care for a large segment of the population, and because the enormous cost of care threatens financial ruin for many more people, the first major reform of the system was debated in Congress for most of 1994, though, in the end, no leglislation was passed. One focus of the debate on spending has been the problem of excessive use of expensive medical technology and the need for some control, which, by and large, is lacking in the existing system. Health care technology assessment itself is a thriving industry in the United States, used by government, insurers, medical societies, hospitals, and other groups for their own purposes. At the national policy level, few opportunities for technology assessment to affect the health care industry exist, so most effort is directed at trying to affect medical practice at the level of the individual hospital and practitioner. The discernible effect of technology assessment has been minimal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-396
Number of pages62
JournalHealth Policy
Volume30
Issue number1-3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Health care technology
  • Medical devices
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Technology assessment
  • United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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