How does anyone get the best value with health insurance? Reducing errors is essential, but errors are just one of the outcomes that matter to patients. The insurance firm pays for as much as 80% of these costs. Yet most providers have been losing money on Medicare and Medicaid patients for a decade or more, and the magnitude of those losses only increases each year.\n\nAs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports, about 45 million people in the US have no health insurance. A central feature of the reform plan is the expansion of comprehensive health insurance to most of the 46 million Americans who now lack private or public insurance.\n\nHigh-tech equipment has been dispersed to medical practices, recovery periods after major procedures have shrunk, and pharmaceutical therapies have grown in importance, yet over the past 40 years, hospitals have managed to retain the same share (roughly one-third) of our nation’s health-care bill.\n\nThe answer: the hospital discussed price only with uninsured patients. Better measurement of outcomes and costs makes bundled payments easier to set and agree upon. The Department of Health and Human Services has promulgated safe harbor regulations that protect certain specified arrangements from prosecution under the Anti-Kickback Statute.\n\nThey need this knowledge to make informed decisions when it comes to their healthcare needs. Companies invest in IT to reduce their costs, reduce mistakes (itself a form of cost-saving), and improve customer service. Existing costing systems are fine for overall department budgeting, but they provide only crude and misleading estimates of actual costs of service for individual patients and conditions.
For the past year, health insurers tried their hardest to defeat healthcare reform. The answer: the hospital discussed price only with uninsured patients. Better measurement of outcomes and costs makes bundled payments easier to set […]