|Geisinger Study: Increasing Healthcare Value Improves Quality
Finding better ways to deliver healthcare to
patients is key to ensuring that Medicare is able to meet the needs of
the nation’s baby boomers, according to a new paper by
Geisinger Health System.
The good news, as the paper points out, is that
the solutions are basic: create policies that improve collaboration
between providers and insurers, develop financial incentives that
reward providers when better care is delivered, increase access to
primary care and recognize that electronic healthcare records help
facilitate the process.
The article outlines several Geisinger initiatives
that have addressed these issues. Some of the results include:
- Reducing hospital admissions by 20 percent and
saving about 7 percent of total medical costs through a medical home
- Saving nearly $4,000 per patient per year in
unnecessary drug costs through closer monitoring of the drug
- Reducing hospitalizations and errors for
elective heart surgery patients through Geisinger’s
Geisinger’s new care models eliminate
common healthcare delivery issues, including unjustified variation
(different approaches to care in different locations), a lack of
coordinated between caregivers, perverse payment incentives (more money
for more work with irrelevant outcomes) and disengaged patients.
Interestingly, results show that quality and care value improve.
Located in rural Pennsylvania, but facing the same
healthcare issues that plague communities across the country, Geisinger
clinicians are seeing more chronically ill patients and increasingly
coping with the consequences of their patients’
complications. Geisinger experts say patients with chronic illnesses,
such as high blood pressure, diabetes, congestive heart failure and
obesity account for nearly 80 percent of all healthcare spending.
"Geisinger has learned that improving value is not
just about innovation and finding new treatments," said Geisinger CEO
and President Dr. Glenn Steele Jr. "Yet unless this country changes how
it pays for care, we’ll be facing a disaster."
The article was published in Health Affairs.
Address: Geisinger Health System, 100 N. Academy
Ave., Danville, PA 17822; (800) 275-6401, www.geisinger.org.