Innovation to control costs, access to care are top healthcare issues, survey says

April 26, 2012

More than 75% of the nation's opinion leaders believe that the best way to control healthcare costs is through discovering innovative ways to deliver services, according to the new NEHI Innovation Barometer survey.

More than 75% of the nation’s opinion leaders believe that the best way to control healthcare costs is through discovering innovative ways to deliver services, according to the new NEHI Innovation Barometer survey. And 4 out of 10 respondents believe that access for all Americans is the No. 1 challenge facing our healthcare system.

Those findings and others were discussed at the NEHI Innovation Conference held in Boston on April 26. The conference featured FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD, and advisors from campaigns of President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney. The survey was sponsored by NEHI and Ernst & Young.

"The survey indicates we need innovative solutions to our healthcare challenges and access is at the top of the list for these new ideas," NEHI President Wendy Everett said in a news release from the health policy institute.

However, she noted that the results also suggest “that neither supporters nor opponents of the Affordable Care Act are perceived as having seized the mantle of innovation regarding expanding access to care."

Other findings from the survey include:

• 58% of respondents believe that as long as FDA discloses risks, it should approve products that may turn out to be harmful if they help some patients.

• 87% of respondents say the government should give high priority to bringing healthcare costs down by making the system more efficient.• 54% of respondents support government action to improve the health system, even if it increases the deficit in the short term.

Nick King, spokesman for NEHI, told Drug Topics that the scheduled discussion involving Obama campaign advisor Paul Kim and Romney campaign advisor Tom Barker is “believed to be the first head-to-head confrontation” on healthcare between the 2 campaigns.

John Castellani, CEO of PhRMA, was one of the panelists in a CEO Roundtable debate about FDA’s role in innovations.

The survey was conducted in March via telephone. Researchers interviewed 500 opinion leaders, defined as members of the general public who read national or local newspapers, follow current events in the healthcare industry, and recently voted in an election.

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