3 Strategies to Decrease Low-Value Care, Healthcare Costs

RevCycle Intelligence (04/09/18) Belliveau, Jacqueline

The Institute of Medicine estimates that in 2013, roughly $765 billion of the $2.6 trillion spent on health care that year was spent on low value-care, excess administration, and health care fraud. Experts say that in order to reduce health care spending on low-value care and maximize value-based reimbursement, provider organizations should distribute nationally recognized care standards to providers, implement clinical decision support tools, and improve patient engagement. A 2016 Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine study found that the Choosing Wisely campaign was more effective at decreasing low-value care than patient-centered medical home certification status, value-based insurance participation, and accountable care organization participation. Meanwhile, to remind clinicians to reconsider certain services and discuss high-value treatment options with patients, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center implemented a clinical decision support tool in its EHR system. Clinicians can then use their judgment to determine if a test or order is the right option for the patient in front of them. The tool at Cedars-Sinai also signals clinicians to discuss higher value treatment options with patients. To improve the relationship and patient engagement, the AHA recommended increased communication via telephone and email. More frequent communication can help providers and patients choose the most appropriate treatment while reducing utilization and costs. Clinicians should also understand what a patient wants from her health care experience and interactions with providers to improve shared decision-making and patient engagement, says Baylor College of Medicine researcher J.S. Blumenthal-Barby.

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