"I ask my wife daily, ‘What was your [blood sugar] number this morning? What was your number this evening? How are you feeling?’ I think it gives her peace of mind knowing that she’s not out there all by herself with this condition."
‒ Larryspouse and partner
If a health system delivers more services to patients with chronic conditions, will it lose money or save money?To answer this question, the MetroHealth Medical Center, in Cleveland, is conducting a study of what it calls the Red Carpet Program. As the name suggests, MetroHealth is figuratively rolling out a red carpet for 150 patients with diabetes, hypertension, and heart failure and provide more care to these patients for 18 months. Then it will compare the before and after costs.
Amidst all the debate about healthcare in America are a couple of undeniable facts: We spend at least twice as much per capita as almost any other country; and countries that spend a lot less often have better health outcomes. One of the latest national efforts to address costs and benefits of medical treatments comes to Cleveland later this week. Read more or listen.
Doctors in Cleveland are offering proof that a robust primary care system is the way to reduce health care costs.
Better Health Greater Cleveland – a group of 55 primary care practices across eight health systems – reduced hospitalizations for patients with diabetes, hypertension, angina, or heart failure by 10% between 2009 and 2011 by improving the quality of primary care in the region. Read more.
The patient-centered medical home and the accountable care organization allow internists to do a better job caring for patients, and there is at least some early evidence that they may reduce the costs of care.
David Bronson, current president of the American College of Physicians, writes about Better Health Greater Cleveland.
Outpatient physician practices can play a key part in ensuring that patients have safe transitions in care and avoid preventable hospital readmissions, according to an American Medical Association report released in February.
Better Health Greater Cleveland, part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Aligning Forces for Quality initiative, reduced the number of cardiovascular hospitalizations in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, by an estimated 2,854 patients from 2009 through 2011, generating savings of $20.1 million, according to Better Health's 10th Community Health Checkup.
CLEVELAND – Better Health, a regional health improvement collaborative in northeast Ohio reported that hosptializations for cardiovascular conditions addressed by its programs fell by 10.7 percent in 2011, building on declines in 2009 and 2010. According to Better Health this is first time a decline in avoidable hospitalizations has been reported as a result of a regional health collaborative’s efforts.
Read the article.
Stepped-up access to primary care doctors staved off nearly 3,000 hospitalizations in northeast Ohio, according to a new analysis, which found the region saved 20.1 million from 2009 to 2011 by preventing unnecessary hospitalizations for common heart conditions.
Read article on Politico (subscription required).
"Super-utilizers" -- people who go to the emergency department frequently and often unnecessarily -- are often looked down upon, as they constitute a small percent of overall ED patients but account for the majority of costs. Some healthcare providers and the population at large perceive these "super-utlilizers" as nuisances -- people who make the ED crowded and contribute to long wait times and high costs. However, some healthcare organizations are taking a more patient-centered approach.....
Click here to read more about Better Health Greater Cleveland's Red Carpet Care program, funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, that is underway at MetroHealth and two of its health plan partners, Medical Mutual of Ohio and Buckeye Health Plan.
In 2007, a group of healthcare providers and payors established Better Health Greater Cleveland, a quality improvement organization under Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Aligning Forces for Quality initiative. The organization started in the outpatient setting with physician practices, but has recently expanded to include hospitals.
Read the article, featuring Better Health's use of EHR data to identify "Bright Spots" in health care quality.