With aging populations and rising costs, health care provision is a concern for societies on both sides of the Atlantic. In the U.S., the Affordable Care Act just passed its first anniversary. Once signed into law in March 2010, the act became one of the largest reforms of the U.S. health care system, aiming at providing high quality health care for the American public while reducing ever-increasing health care costs. Now, the challenge is execution: the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is currently issuing regulations for implementing the law. Germany, too, is grappling with changes to its health care system. The German government passed financial reform of the health care system in 2010; more laws to reduce costs and increase quality are planned for 2011. Although both countries have very different health care systems, a more nuanced analysis of the systems shows that both countries are confronted by similar challenges: 1) Reforming the health care system so that it rewards quality health care; and 2) Reevaluating payment systems for medical providers.

AICGS’ project on “The Potential of Linking Quality of Medical Care with Payment Systems in the German and U.S. Health Care Systems” will evaluate German and American policy recommendations to these two topics and will analyze the best practices in each country. The project will encompass several conferences and seminars as well as a Policy Report.