Industry Trends: Lower Costs or Higher Quality?

Industry Trends: Lower Costs or Higher Quality?

  • On March 20, 2017

Lower costs, high quality–we should have both!  We have heard this many times, but it is true, the U.S. health care system is the most expensive in the world.  According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, health care accounts for 17 percent of our gross national product—and that percentage continues to grow.  Health care executives are continually trying to reform this unsustainable model by providing higher quality care at a lower price—care that improves the overall health, outcome, and experience of health care for the average individual.  Health care providers can no longer push out costs without paying attention to quality—and small improvements will not be enough. To survive in this new competitive and ever growing transparent world, many health care providers are adopting quality and process improvements.  They are working to compete on a platform that the ‘business and retail world’ has done for years—enhance the patient experience, reduce the per capita cost of health care, while still improving the health of populations.

Increase patient satisfaction, lower costs, and improve health? Sounds impossible, and for many providers it could be, unless they are willing to make basic changes in the way they provide health care. The good news is that major provider systems, health care insurance carriers, and other government reporting agencies have collected huge amounts of data that can lead to improved operational performance and outcomes. By making the appropriate information available to clinicians, researchers, and administrators when and where it’s needed, health care organizations and providers can help align people’s decisions and actions in ways that improve outcomes and add value.

These analytics can identify patterns and trends that provide insights into changes in patient workflows and clinical practices that can decrease costs as well as healthier, more satisfied populations.  Patients and clinicians both can gain access to data about the real cost, quality, and performance of treatments, leading to more effective and timely health care.

Technology alone isn’t enough to answer the complex challenges facing health care executives. This takes in depth understanding of analytics, industry and processes to create a comprehensive analytics plan that spans people, processes, and tools.

Kistler Tiffany Benefits can help as well with analytics specific to your group (if available).  With our health care dashboards and detail carrier reporting, we can help interpret how your population is running and provide feedback on plan changes and update to manage costs.

 

By Chris Elvidge, Director of Account Management

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