Cutting Costs While Also Improving Patient Outcomes

One of the biggest problems faced today by insurers, health services organizations, and others concerned with cost efficiency is figuring out how to cut down on medical service waste. Although well intentioned, many doctors have become habitual about over-prescribing services that are unlikely to be helpful, whether out of a fear of malpractice suits or a simple desire to do the utmost for patients.

Patients themselves, too, also contribute to this culture of medical service overuse and waste. Many patients have become accustomed to demanding any kind of test that might seem remotely relevant to a particular health situation, and this can produce quite a bit in the way of wasted resources for insurers and others who are responsible for picking up the bill.

Patients frequently contribute to the problem in another way, too. Although many are good about keeping up with routines and behaviors that their doctors prescribe for them, others are less diligent in this respect. Many patients who deal with chronic conditions like diabetes and telehealth obstructive pulmonary disease, for example, fail to stay on top of tests, medications, and therapies that are meant to be administered at home.

For a long time, this was considered one of the most difficult to address of this broad group of problems. That has started to change, however, as some innovative companies have introduced ways to tackle the issue head on.

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Brookings Recognizes myNEXUS, for example, as an especially productive way to reduce readmissions and proactively deal with the challenge of utilization management. A home-based monitoring system that automatically sends data to a central server where it can be studied by trained analysts, the device has proven to be an excellent way of identify problems before they become too pointed.

In addition to being an excellent way of helping to keep costs down, the system can also provide useful data for population health management in general. That means that organizations which make use of it can find out ways to serve their patients better while also keeping their overall costs down.

While a two-fold victory of this kind is not always easy to come by, the reality is that this particular problem space seems to hold the promise of many of them. It is quite often the case, in fact, that efforts to cut costs and reduce the waste of medical resources also result in improved outcomes for patients. With so many prizes of this kind to be secured, it is no wonder that so many organizations are eagerly seeking them out.

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