Archive Megatrends 2018

Are You Fully Invested in Patient Safety?

The movement toward value-based reimbursement makes positive outcomes more economically important than ever before.

Daniel Cook

Daniel Cook, Executive Editor


Patient Safety
ON THE TABLE Using transparent data to help surgeons perform safer, more cost-effective surgery, facilities that spend less for quality care are in line to see their earnings rise.

You can't put a price on a patient's life, but you can place a value on safer surgical care. Consider that a recent 20% reduction in general surgery complications over 5 years at 72 Michigan hospitals lowered expenditures at the facilities by $20 million. Darrell A. Campbell, Jr., MD, chief medical officer at the University of Michigan Health System, helps manage the hospital partnership, which is driven by a pool of data on tens of thousands of surgeries and is backed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) of Michigan.

"We've become a patient safety organization," says Dr. Campbell. "This effort, designed by the people on the front lines of surgical care, has succeeded because it's collaborative, non-punitive and supported by a payer with the vision of using shared data to improve care in ways that make sense."

Using transparent data to reward surgical facilities based on performance instead of case volume is where reimbursement models are heading. "If you can decrease the incidence of expensive complications, you're going to save money," says Dr. Campbell. "That's a straightforward trend that's not new, but it's certainly being emphasized more."

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