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Busting The Myth Of Uncontrollable Healthcare Costs
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pfretty
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pfretty,
User Rank: Ninja
10/27/2014 | 7:49:21 PM
Data could shine
Properly leveraged, data could be a huge star here. However, I would hope organizations within this field start with small projects and build up momentum.  As a recent SAS survey showed, the goals are in alignment but skills are still in need of development. 

 

Peter Fretty
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
10/15/2014 | 10:19:24 AM
Myth Buster NOT!
All hospitals have a "rack" rate for services which I believe are quoted here.  This is what an uninsured person is quoted and billed.  All insurance companies already use these types of analytical techniques to determine what they will pay a health care provider for services.  The primary cause of increased healthcare cost is the numbers of uninsured patients that can't pay the rake rates billed and the government as it has its own payment "scale" well below market costs.  Between these two short falls the rest of us are charged to make up for this short fall.  Costs to us (and our employers) will continue to rise as long as the government continues to pay short of costs and the millions of still uninsured continue not to pay.  A secondary cause of increased costs is the lack of competition amoung vendors providing healthcare technology and products to healthcare providers but that's another story.
GAProgrammer
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GAProgrammer,
User Rank: Ninja
10/15/2014 | 9:41:01 AM
Re: Cost Control
Daniel, you can also factor all the data you want to into a healthcare cost system, but there is one piece of data that technology advocates can never account for - the human factor. The fact is, the systems are never used as designed. Even if the healthcare systems were used as designed, the increasing costs of equipment and procedures combined with the expanding population means costs never go down, only up. Many people who would simply buy cold medicine for a cough before socialized medicine is implemented suddenly show up in ERs for a cough, either because "they paid for it", or as in the case for over 50% of Americans, it is free (Medicare). This isn't theory, I have first hand experience in this matter. If you make something "free" or cheap enough (zero or minimal co-pays), then a $7 fix for a cold becomes a $500 expense to the insurer/government. Multiply that by half of the population, say 175 million and you get a clearer picture of the true problem.

All too often in this day and age of amazing technological advancement, people build systems on "ideas" rather than reality. It has nothing to do with what you "believe" - it has to do with how things ARE. Those who take reality into account will succeed. Those who built systems and tech based on an idealized world are doomed to fail before they even start.
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
10/14/2014 | 11:47:12 PM
Re: Cost Control
It seems that technology applied in healthcare is being applied to other domains besides cost saving.  EHRs are increasing in adoptions, robots are doing remote operations, but healthcare processes continue to remain outdated.  I really hope that data analytics is the factor that would help decrease costs.
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
10/14/2014 | 4:27:13 PM
Re: Cost Control
@daniel, I think it has been just the opposite when tech like MRI and CAT are introduced. We certainly didn't pay for those in old days. Will there be enough economy of scale to drive use of those machines down? I think yes but not enough pressure on providers of that service to do it on their own. Only competitive pressure can really do that.
danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
10/14/2014 | 3:31:35 PM
Re: Cost Control
My hope has always been that technology will be able to bring down healthcare costs – the system is antiquated and needs innovation. I don't believe in a world where these expenses continue to go up – they should start going down. I had hoped that the government putting some regulatory pressure in place would speed this along, but so far that has not been the case. 
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
10/14/2014 | 1:41:58 PM
Cost Control
Gio, is the business itself responsible to know the price of CAT scans or the benefit providers they work with? I agree analytics and transparency is the answer but who should apply them is the question? If you are a manufacturer of brass products and self insured like we are, with only 40 office employees, how could we possibly execute the medical cost control of the real price of CAT scan? Wouldn't it be more feasible to have the benefits provider do this? It is their core business.


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