Creating Opportunities to Bend the Cost Curve in New York State

Rising health care costs and the containment of their growth have been national and State-specific issues for decades.

Grantee Name

The Lewin Group, Inc

Funding Area

Expanding Health Care Coverage

Publication Date

July 2014

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

August 2009 – January 2011

Expanding Health Care Coverage

Rising health care costs and the containment of their growth have been national and State-specific issues for decades.

Recognizing the need for a national roadmap to control the unsustainable growth in health care costs, the 2007 Commonwealth Fund report, “Bending the Curve: Options for Achieving Savings and Improving Value in U.S. Health Spending,” identified 15 federal policy options and estimated the impact they could have on lowering health care spending relative to projected trends. Modeled by The Lewin Group (Lewin), the study concluded that these options could generate 10-year savings ranging from $9 billion to more than $300 billion. The report became a major resource for policymakers tackling the issue of health care costs.

In 2009, the New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) awarded a grant to Lewin to leverage the model, data collection, and methods developed under the national study to create a State-specific roadmap for New York.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Consulted with TAP to identify areas of health care inefficiency and excess utilization; poor health behaviors driving health care costs; and policy options that target these issues;
  • Identified savings estimates for 10 policy options and modeled their impact with Lewin’s Health Benefits Simulation Model (HBSM). State-specific data on health spending by sector, population demographics, industry trends, and key assumptions regarding the 10 policy options were incorporated into the HBSM;
  • Assessed the feasibility and developed necessary action steps for implementing four policy options, in consultation with TAP and key New York State stakeholders, including the New York State Department of Health, insurers, hospitals, physicians, and advocacy groups; and
  • Published its findings and recommendations in the NYHealth report, “Bending the Health Care Cost Curve in New York State: Options for Saving Money and Improving Care.” The authors were asked to present the report’s findings at a New Yorkers for Accessible Health Coverage roundtable meeting, and the project also was featured at NYHealth’s 2010 conference, “The Imperative of Cost Containment in Health Reform.”