This week at the CED Life Science Conference, Mark McClellan, M.D., director of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, discussed healthcare reform and biomedical innovation.

They are topics he is uniquely qualified to tackle, as the former administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Throughout his presentation, McClellan returned to the themes of sustainable healthcare reforms for better outcomes, value-based payment in healthcare and the need for better real-world evidence of treatment success. Following are some highlights.

Status of the Affordable Care Act

In his presentation, McClellan pointed out that the following issues are driving the debate around the ACA and possible changes to it. These issues include the need to:

  • Provide consumer choice and price competition
  • Reduce high U.S. healthcare spending
  • Achieve more value in healthcare spending
  • Provide strong incentives for the development of high-value treatments
  • Create more alignment among healthcare providers
  • Decreasing healthcare costs

At the center of the debate is high healthcare costs. McClellan noted that there are ways to decrease costs include:

  • Innovations to better target use of medical technologies
  • Wireless remote personal health tools
  • Lower-cost methods of treatment
  • Better care coordination
  • Non-medical strategies for health improvement

While opportunities for decreasing healthcare costs exist, McClellan ended his presentation by pointing out the need for leadership on the issue of high value, sustainable healthcare innovation, as well as active engagement among policy makers to ensure medical product development is more efficient.

(C) N.C. Biotechnology Center