Warren Buffet recently called medical costs "the tapeworm of American economic competitiveness." The United States continues to spend more of its GDP on healthcare than any other industrialized nation, yet few health reform proposals target the problem of rising costs. One problem is that policymakers focus on the purchasing of healthcare -- regulating insurance markets or monitoring what patients receive -- without scrutinizing the production of healthcare. In this talk, Duke Law Professor Barak Richman will explore how the healthcare sector can transform into a more affordable and sustainable part of the American economy. Central to any meaningful health care reform is a reorganization of healthcare delivery and pursuing a new architecture for the health sector. Necessary elements will include reorienting the sector to digital technologies, abandoning costly infrastructures, reconceptualizing the role of traditional personnel and practices, and pursuing legal reforms that will emphasize promoting health, not purchasing healthcare.
Barak Richman’s primary research interests include the economics of contracting, new institutional economics, antitrust, and healthcare policy. His work has been published in the Columbia Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Law and Social Inquiry, the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and Health Affairs. In 2006, he co-edited with Clark Havighurst a symposium volume of Law and Contemporary Problems entitled "Who Pays? Who Benefits? Distributional Issues in Health Care,” and his book Stateless Commerce was published by Harvard University Press in 2017.