Posts Taged accountable-care-organizations

How to Decrease Costly Hospital Stays

reducing number of expensive hospital visits with ACOsWhen there’s a medical emergency that requires a hospital stay, expenses can add up quickly. Increasingly, patients are responsible for paying their own medical bills instead of insurers. Researchers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor studied how much insurers spent on hospital stays. Between 2009 and 2013, out-of-pocket expenses increased by 37% per hospital stay, which is a growth rate of 6.5% per year. How can you avoid expensive hospital stays?

With value-based healthcare models, you can minimize costly hospital stays. With accountable care organizations (ACOs) and value-based care, the focus is on you and your health. Many current cost models reward doctors and providers for high-traffic visits. This means that patient health takes a back seat because, if patients are healthy, then they don’t need as many doctor or hospital visits. Here are a few ways value-based care models decrease hospital stays and doctor visits to save you money:

  • With value-based models, doctors are rewarded for practicing preventative medicine and decreasing the number of doctor visits. Preventative treatments take priority over short-term fixes so patients receive higher quality, long term care.
  • These healthcare models also use predictive analytics to improve their preventative treatment methods and diagnoses. Predictive analytics allows medical professionals to examine patterns in a larger pool of patient data. This helps them predict how your health might progress so they can design a treatment plan customized to your specific needs.
  • Part of customized care and treatment plans at the Catholic Benefits Trust includes a personal health coach. Your health coach acts as your advocate and can walk you through every step of the treatment process.  

All of these strategies combine to help reduce the likelihood of medical emergencies that require a hospital stay. Instead of just lowering the costs of hospital stays, value-based care models encourage doctors, specialists, and providers to collaborate on the best way to treat patients so they don’t require a hospital stay at all. This cost-effective healthcare strategy saves you money and focuses on improving your health before small problems become medical disasters. You and your insurance provider will save money in the long-run by using less resources.

You can learn more about how the Catholic Benefit Trust works to make sure our partners save money and have improved healthcare services by contacting us!

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Why Private Insurers Adopt Value-Based Care Models

why private insurers adopt value based care models similar to catholic benefits trustAccountable care organizations (ACOs) are becoming increasingly popular in the private sector as well as among government contracted organizations. Despite the many challenges of transitioning to a new model, private insurers are interested in the alternative payment methods and benefits ACOs provide. In fact, of the estimated 750 public and private ACOs in the US, about half of the contracts are with private insurers.

So, why is the private sector adapting to this coordinated care model? Switching from a fee-for-service model to value-based care isn’t an easy transition. Not all health systems allow for such a huge structural change. Those that do decide to take the risk, however, find ACOs effective for several reasons.

  • The value-based healthcare model allows providers to address rising healthcare costs without sacrificing quality. A value-based model places the emphasis on the patient by focusing on preventative medicine and treatment plans. Instead of the fee-for-service model where frequent patient visits means better compensation for doctors, the ACO model rewards physicians whose patients have less visits.
  • Today, real-time data allows everything to be analyzed thoroughly from how every penny is spent to details of patient symptoms. With accurate, reliable data to support the effectiveness of value-based models, it makes committing to the transition seem like less of a risk to private insurers.
  • Value-based care and ACOs also increase cost savings. A fee-for-service model with frequent patient visits not only consumes a doctor’s valuable time, but it also wastes resources. By reducing patient visits and increasing a focus on preventative healthcare, organizations can save money and resources.

At Catholic Benefits Trust, we understand the benefits and advantages to using a value-based model. As a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the Catholic Church, we provide improved group health plans with Catholic values in mind. Members of CBT receive full ownership of their medical data as well as a personal health management plan based on a thorough analysis of that data. We also have a team of personal health nurses to assist our members with any health-related questions or concerns.

If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of value-based care organizations or the Catholic Benefits Trust, feel free to contact us!

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How You Can Benefit From Joining An ACO

cost effective health care focusing on preventive medicine with accountable care organizationsThe traditional health care payment system favors quantity over quality. Because health care providers are compensated on a per service basis, they profit more from a high volume of patient visits, treatments, and procedures. This system isn’t conducive to preventative medicine because a healthy person wouldn’t generate as much profit as an unhealthy person.

How do accountable care organizations (ACO) solve this problem?

An ACO differs from the traditional system by rewarding health care professionals for keeping their patients healthy and reducing the number of procedures they need. Partnering with an ACO means the focus is on quality of care instead of quantity. Here are 3 reasons why you should consider partnering with an ACO:

1. The focus is on the patient, not the paycheck. The compensation system of an ACO facilitates more communication among caregivers and patients. Because one single doctor doesn’t have all the answers all the time, communication among a patient’s multiple doctors is important for giving accurate diagnoses and treatment. The ACO system requires communication by giving physicians an incentive to find care options specific to each patient’s needs.

2. Patients will have access to a larger team of healthcare professionals. An ACO brings health professionals and providers that share similar values together. As part of an ACO, patients and professionals will have access to the expertise of other professionals within their ACO’s network. This network also means that patients waste less time filling out forms and answering questions about their health. Because every member of the ACO is connected, patient information can be shared easily and securely among them.

3. Preventative care becomes essential to reducing costs and keeping patients healthy. This cost-effective care model means everyone benefits by improving and maintaining the health of patients. Not only does a patient’s health become more of a priority, but preventative care reduces long term spending. When you identify and treat a health problem early on, you save on possible costly, invasive treatments that would have been needed in the future.

At the Catholic Benefits Trust, we take a similar approach with our healthcare payment system. Instead of focusing on profits, we focus on providing the best care options for our members. You can learn more about our flexible, low-cost health care solutions on our website or when you contact us.

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