The Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Association recently released a report showing a dramatic leap in costs for planned orthopedic surgeries.
During his January 2019 State of the City address, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new initiative that guarantees affordable healthcare for every resident of the city. The new program will provide care for those who lack insurance because they can’t afford it, feel that they don’t need it, or have no access to it due to their immigration status.
One of the hopes for the program is that it will stem the tide of overwhelming overuse of the city’s hospital emergency rooms. Having insurance won’t accomplish this alone. People need the access to preventative care that insurance provides, as well as ongoing education to help them make good health decisions and take better care of themselves and their families.
Here, digital messaging can come to the rescue. A recent study that we conducted in conjunction with a U.S.-based four-hospital system showed just how powerful an impact digital education has on patient outcomes and cost metrics. Providing relevant, evidence-based information throughout the care episode resulted not only in a statistically significant decrease in length of stay and emergency room visits, it positively impacted readmissions, discharge destination and day-of-surgery cancellations.
Watch out, baby boomers—millennials are on track this year to overtake you as America’s largest generation, according to recent research by the Pew Research Center. These young adults, who will range in age from 23 to 38 in 2019, are positioned to make healthcare decisions for themselves, their own growing families and their aging parents.
Topics: Patient Engagement
A recent study offers yet another push for hospitals to lower elective C-section rates. Research published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, has found a link between C-sections and an increased risk of food allergies.
C-sections are performed in nearly a third of U.S. births, and half of these surgeries are considered avoidable. Thus, the pressure to lower the rates of this procedure – and it's accompanying risks, which range from infection to excessive blood loss and even maternal death – is mounting from all sides. The Joint Commission, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the National Quality Forum and independent hospital rating firms (such as Leapfrog, which reports on them by hospital) all care about C-section rates. Even media organizations such as Parents.com are weighing in.
All of this puts hospitals in the delicate situation of discouraging elective C-sections, while keeping those patients who request the procedure – without fully understanding the risks – satisfied with their care. Yes, hospitals want to keep their expectant patients happy, but their biggest priority here is maternal and child safety.
So what can hospitals do to help lower C-section rates?