National Academies Press: OpenBook

Medical Care Economic Risk: Measuring Financial Vulnerability from Spending on Medical Care (2012)

Chapter: PART II: RESOURCES FOR THE STUDY: DEVELOPING A MEASURE OF MEDICAL CARE ECONOMIC RISK - WORKSHOP SUMMARY

« Previous: Appendix: Biographical Sketches of Panel Members and Staff
Suggested Citation:"PART II: RESOURCES FOR THE STUDY: DEVELOPING A MEASURE OF MEDICAL CARE ECONOMIC RISK - WORKSHOP SUMMARY." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2012. Medical Care Economic Risk: Measuring Financial Vulnerability from Spending on Medical Care. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13525.
×
Suggested Citation:"PART II: RESOURCES FOR THE STUDY: DEVELOPING A MEASURE OF MEDICAL CARE ECONOMIC RISK - WORKSHOP SUMMARY." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2012. Medical Care Economic Risk: Measuring Financial Vulnerability from Spending on Medical Care. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13525.
×

This page intentionally left blank.

Suggested Citation:"PART II: RESOURCES FOR THE STUDY: DEVELOPING A MEASURE OF MEDICAL CARE ECONOMIC RISK - WORKSHOP SUMMARY." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2012. Medical Care Economic Risk: Measuring Financial Vulnerability from Spending on Medical Care. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13525.
×
Page 119
Suggested Citation:"PART II: RESOURCES FOR THE STUDY: DEVELOPING A MEASURE OF MEDICAL CARE ECONOMIC RISK - WORKSHOP SUMMARY." Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2012. Medical Care Economic Risk: Measuring Financial Vulnerability from Spending on Medical Care. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13525.
×
Page 120
Next: 1 Introduction »
Medical Care Economic Risk: Measuring Financial Vulnerability from Spending on Medical Care Get This Book
×
Buy Paperback | $58.00 Buy Ebook | $46.99
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

The United States has seen major advances in medical care during the past decades, but access to care at an affordable cost is not universal. Many Americans lack health care insurance of any kind, and many others with insurance are nonetheless exposed to financial risk because of high premiums, deductibles, co-pays, limits on insurance payments, and uncovered services. One might expect that the U.S. poverty measure would capture these financial effects and trends in them over time. Yet the current official poverty measure developed in the early 1960s does not take into account significant increases and variations in medical care costs, insurance coverage, out-of-pocket spending, and the financial burden imposed on families and individuals. Although medical costs consume a growing share of family and national income and studies regularly document high rates of medical financial stress and debt, the current poverty measure does not capture the consequences for families' economic security or their income available for other basic needs.

In 1995, a panel of the National Research Council (NRC) recommended a new poverty measure, which compares families' disposable income to poverty thresholds based on current spending for food, clothing, shelter, utilities, and a little more. The panel's recommendations stimulated extensive collaborative research involving several government agencies on experimental poverty measures that led to a new research Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), which the U.S. Census Bureau first published in November 2011 and will update annually. Analyses of the effects of including and excluding certain factors from the new SPM showed that, were it not for the cost that families incurred for premiums and other medical expenses not covered by health insurance, 10 million fewer people would have been poor according to the SPM.

The implementation of the patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides a strong impetus to think rigorously about ways to measure medical care economic burden and risk, which is the basis for Medical Care Economic Risk. As new policies - whether part of the ACA or other policies - are implemented that seek to expand and improve health insurance coverage and to protect against the high costs of medical care relative to income, such measures will be important to assess the effects of policy changes in both the short and long term on the extent of financial burden and risk for the population, which are explained in this report.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    Switch between the Original Pages, where you can read the report as it appeared in print, and Text Pages for the web version, where you can highlight and search the text.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  9. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!