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What’s the key to cutting healthcare costs for hospitals, insurers, and patients?

Posted by Bill Lindsay on Mar 7, 2019 2:00:00 PM

Total joint replacement surgeries are expected to increase by more than 150% in the next 10 years, bringing with them a tsunami of healthcare costs for Americans. In 2017, joint replacement surgeries cost around $25 billion for commercially insured Blue Cross Blue Shield members alone.

Though the government and private payers are working to drive down these costs, today's longer life expectancies and higher quality of life standards are making this much harder to accomplish. One solution, which would save both hospitals and patients money, is evident in a recent study we performed in conjunction with a 4-hospital healthcare system in the Midwest.

We examined the impact of a two-way digital connection on outcomes for total joint replacement patients. Our findings provide evidence-based proof that digital education, alerts, reminders and notifications do change patient behaviors and drive down healthcare costs.

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Topics: Improving Patient Outcomes, Patient Experience, patient activation, Mobile Technology

Maintaining patient touchpoints over time can change lives

Posted by Morgan Tracy on Feb 21, 2019 2:00:00 PM

As a Maternity Nurse Navigator at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, I’m available to provide support to expectant mothers, whether that’s explaining what to expect at pregnancy checkups, helping to create a birth plan or reviewing breastfeeding options. A few weeks ago, I was able to get an expectant mother the care she needed—a need she had expressed in response to one of our Early Childhood patient education emails.

I received a secure message from a woman currently receiving our automated weekly education messages. She was 27 weeks pregnant and didn’t know where to turn to get prenatal care. She thought that she couldn’t get access to care without current identification cards. She wasn’t able to travel to renew her identification, and she didn’t know what to do to get her questions answered—and the care that she and her baby needed.

Our team sends automated weekly emails to touch base with expectant and new moms to help them prepare for childbirth and provide optimal care for their children. This woman was receiving messages about raising her toddler and used the connection to reach out.

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Topics: Improving Patient Outcomes, Guest Blog, Patient Experience, patient activation

Costs for Planned Orthopedic Surgery Have Increased by 44% in 7 years

Posted by Deirdre Wilson on Feb 14, 2019 2:03:05 PM

The Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Association recently released a report showing a dramatic leap in costs for planned orthopedic surgeries.

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Topics: Improving Patient Outcomes, Patient Engagement, Healthcare Technology

Rural Health Day and the Need for More Care Options

Posted by Deirdre Wilson on Nov 15, 2018 3:35:00 PM

More than 60 million Americans live in rural communities, where small hospitals strain to stay open amid increasing healthcare demands and dwindling revenue. Today, Nov. 15, 2018, is for them, and for the dedicated healthcare providers among them.

It’s National Rural Health Day, the third Thursday in November designated by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health to celebrate rural healthcare providers and call attention to the unique health needs of rural populations. More than 80 small community hospitals have closed since 2010; hundreds of others struggle to survive.

Telehealth services, now offered by several healthcare systems nationwide, have become a lifeline for rural patients who can’t always travel the distances required to reach urban hospitals for care. Physicians and other healthcare providers electronically communicate “face to face” with these patients to help them manage everything from influenza to chronic conditions such as diabetes or congestive heart failure.

But as demand for long-distance healthcare grows, telehealth isn’t the only solution (nor the best one) available to healthcare providers.

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Topics: Population Health, Improving Patient Outcomes, Patient Experience, Innovation