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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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4 Value-Based Care Models Worth Trying

value-based health care models you should try

Preventable hospitalizations are costing the US a fortune. In 2006, hospital stays that could have been prevented with proper long-term care made up $1 out of every $10 spent on hospital-based care. In Minnesota alone, preventable health care costs totaled $2 billion in one year. How can we avoid spending money on preventable hospital stays and visits? Here are 4 value-based care models we can try to start saving money and living healthier:

1. Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)

Accountable Care Organizations have proven highly effective when it comes to reducing health care costs. Because the current system focuses on profits over preventive care, health care providers stand to make more money from unhealthy patients who require more visits, prescriptions, procedures, etc. Under an ACO there’s a network of health care providers and hospitals collaborating to reduce costs by focusing on the patient’s’ long-term health instead of short-term solutions.

2. Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMHs)

Patient-centered medical homes are similar to ACOs in that there is a network of professionals working together. However, with PCMHs health costs are reduced through the exchange of data as well as collaboration. Instead of having a one-on-one relationship with a primary care physician, patients will have a team of health professionals focused on them. In Colorado, the Multi-Payer PCMH Pilot reduced emergency visits by 15% and saw a $4.5 return on every $1 spent.

3. Pay Incentives

Some value-based health strategies offer pay incentives for physicians who reduce patient visits. This requires health care providers to focus on long-term health goals that will reduce their patient’s chances of needing costly procedures, emergency visits, or hospital stays.

4. Bundled Payments

Another cost-effective health care method is bundled payments or when a single payment is required for services related to a specific health care episode, even if it may require assistance from different providers. Bundled payments encourage patients to follow through with recommended care options because they know there is only one fee they have to pay for the whole process.

The Catholic Benefits Trust focuses on providing cost-efficient and value-based health care to organizations sharing Catholic values. All members of CBT are granted a seat on our Board of Directors so everyone has an equal say when it comes to managing costs. You can learn more about how CBT embodies Catholic values and reduces health care costs for our members by contacting us today!

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