Charles S. Roehrig, Ph.D., is a Vice President, Institute Fellow, and founding director of Altarum’s Center for Sustainable Health Spending (CSHS). His research interests include timelier tracking of health spending, determining its sustainable growth rate, and modeling its future growth. He has overseen development of the Altarum Health Sector Economic Indicators, which provide monthly tracking of health spending, prices, utilization, and employment and, more recently, the RWJF-funded monthly Health Sector Trend Report. He developed the Triangle of Painful Choices to illustrate the link between the federal budget and the sustainable rate of health spending, which now includes the role of social determinants in budget categories. He led the development of estimates of national health spending by medical condition (including spending on prevention), and has extended this research to include the impact of disease prevalence on expenditure growth. He is currently studying the value of nonclinical primary prevention. He also has many years of experience in modeling health workforce supply and requirements. His work has been published in Health Affairs and the New England Journal of Medicine and he blogs regularly for Altarum’s Health Policy Forum and Health Affairs. In addition to his applied research, he has published in the field of theoretical econometrics in academic journals such as Econometrica and the Journal of Econometrics.

Recent Posts by Charles Roehrig

Smoking v. Obesity: The Economics Of Prevention And Its Dependence On Treatment

In this post, we summarize research we have done on the value of reductions in cigarette smoking and obesity. Among our findings was how dramatically the returns to prevention could be impacted by changes in the cost and effectiveness of treatment for the conditions being prevented.

At Last: The Data To Routinely Discuss Health Spending By Medical Condition

A January Health Affairs paper introduces readers to the innovative new Health Care Satellite Account and uses its data to examine the recent slowdown in health spending growth. The HSCA opens the health spending discussion to those involved with population health, public health, and clinical care.

The Impact Of New Hepatitis C Drugs On National Health Spending

According to data just released by CMS, health spending grew by 5.3 percent in 2014, ending the five-year run of record low growth rates in national health spending. The new hepatitis C drugs have had a significant impact on growth rates in spending on prescription drugs and on national health...

Expanded Coverage Appears To Explain Much Of The Recent Increase In Health Job Growth

The timing of the acceleration of health sector hiring corresponds to the recent expansion of health insurance coverage, but there has been little direct evidence of a relationship. We use state-level data to show that much of the acceleration in health jobs can be explained by expanded coverage.

What Is Behind The Post-Recession Bend In The Health Care Cost Curve?

It has been a while since I last had the opportunity to analyze the slowdown in health spending and the extent to which it represents a lasting bend in the cost curve, as opposed to lingering effects of the “Great Recession or other temporary changes.” (See Note 1) Distinguishing Health Care...

Further Thoughts On The Recession And Health Spending

Much has been made of the slowdown in health spending growth and the role played by the economy. I have to confess that my first take, after studying plots of business cycles and health spending, was that health spending “had a mind of its own” and paid no attention to business cycles....

The Complex Economics Of Disease Prevention And Longevity

In August, the Center for Sustainable Health Spending (CSHS) was awarded a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to, among other things, examine the relationship between disease prevention and health care costs. This project heightened my interest in the wonderfully-researched report...

GDP+0: Prospects And Challenges Of Bending The Health Care Cost Curve

Editor's note: In addition to Kenneth Kaufman and Charles Roehrig (photos and linked bios above), this post is coauthored by Paul Hughes-Cromwick, a health economist and Senior Analyst at Altarum Institute and Charles Kim, a Senior Vice President at Kaufman Hall. Health care costs are a...

2011 Health Spending Growth Ticks Up: Should We Be Concerned?

I am taking a break from analyzing national health spending sustainable growth rates to look at recent patterns of growth. I was inspired by the September 25 spending estimates from the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) showing an uptick in the growth rate for 2011 to 4.6 percent. Their press...

October 1, 2012Costs and Spending

What Is “Sustainable” Health Spending?

As we embark upon a presidential campaign season, we can anticipate many lively debates on the topics of taxation and spending in this nation.  As health spending in the Unites States accounts for 18 percent of our gross domestic product – a rate often called unsustainable – it is critical that...

February 3, 2012Costs and Spending