Experts from Around the Country Address the Healthcare Affordability Crisis


September 27, 2017

Experts from Around the Country Address the Healthcare Affordability Crisis

Healthcare Leaders Say It’s Time to Change the Conversation

 September 27, 2017 – Washington DC – Leaders from every segment of the U.S. healthcare system gathered to address the staggering cost of care and services in the U.S. With the average American family spending $18,000 a year on healthcare services and insurance—which is more than a third of the annual median income of $51,939—people can no longer afford the care they need and deserve.

“By 2020, the U.S. is projected to spend more than $4.6 trillion a year on healthcare,” said Elizabeth Mitchell, president and CEO of the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement, the event’s sponsor. “That’s more than seven times what we spent on all public K-12 education in 2013-14. That level of spending is unsustainable, but our national debate over the past several years has focused on the cost of insurance rather than the cost of care. We need to change the conversation, because you can’t have affordable insurance until you have affordable care.”

NRHI convened the National Affordability Summit to reframe the national healthcare conversation from one centered on insurance to one focused on the actual cost and quality of care. The Summit brought together 200 healthcare practitioners, policy makers, public and private purchasers, consumer representatives, community leaders, federal agencies, and health plan representatives to discuss what actions, changes, and political will are needed to challenge the nation’s healthcare status quo. Many came as members of teams organized by Regional Health Improvement Collaboratives from across the country.

Speakers at the summit, including Dr. Arnold Milstein of Stanford University and Harold Miller of the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform, spoke about the economic urgency created by skyrocketing healthcare costs, and the need to reduce cost drivers including price, overuse of unnecessary services, underinvestment in primary and preventive care, and waste. Frederick Isasi of Families USA, discussed the impact high healthcare costs have on the lives of American families, and regional experts including Mylia Christensen of the Oregon Health Care Quality Corporation described how her state has successfully engaged stakeholders to measure and report healthcare cost differences between places and practices ­­–– the first step in reducing healthcare costs. This Total Cost of Care video explains how that type of measurement—known as the Total Cost of Care (TCoC)—is done and can contribute to lowering costs.

Please contact Kathy Nichols or Carole Florman of the NRHI Communications team for more information or to arrange interviews with summit speakers, including:

  • Arnold Milstein, MD, MPH, Stanford University, Clinical Excellence Research Center
  • Mylia Christensen, Executive Director, HealthInsight Oregon and Oregon Health Care Quality Corporation
  • Harold Miller, President/CEO, Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform
  • Elizabeth Mitchell, President and CEO, Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement

NRHI Media Contacts:

Kathy Nichols, Communications Manager

Mobile: (207) 400-1828


Carole Florman, Executive Director of Strategic Communications

Mobile: (301) 580-4364



About NRHI 

The Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI) is a national organization representing more than 30 regional health improvement collaboratives (RHICs) and state-affiliated partners working to achieve better health, better care, and reduced costs through continuous improvement. NRHI and its member RHICs are non-profit organizations working directly with physicians, hospitals, employers, health plans, and patients. For more information, visit us on the web at, or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working with others to build a national Culture of Health enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at


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