Sunday, November 4, 2012

Reducing Health Care Cost, But Not Quality

MIAMI - JANUARY 18:  Dr. Olveen Carrasquillo (...
(Image source: Getty Images via @daylife)
Few, if any, people still deny that US healthcare costs put the nation at a competitive disadvantage, reek of inefficiency and must be confronted soon. And as Washington begins to debate the direction the nation will move, PBS Frontline’s Sick Around America program last night showed us the magnitude of the challenges ahead:

And while many single out insurance and drug companies as part of the problem, a strong case can be made for the importance of private sector R&D driving innovation…which could be negatively impacted by healthcare reforms. But no matter what side of the debate(s) you come down on, there’s widespread agreement that greater efficiency and cost reductions in the system are essential.

So, how do we get there?

In the past, other groups have looked at opportunities for cost savings in the healthcare industry and provided their recommendations, one in particular that sticks out is a whitepaper titled Spend Management: The Antidote to the Healthcare Crisis. They dug into “the spending and procurement practices of over 300 global companies and found that the U.S. healthcare sector could collectively reduce supply chain costs by $40 billion through improved spend management practices, policies, and automation.” The projected increase in profits created by those savings come in at $26.7 billion.

The whitepaper outlines actions that healthcare organizations - from service providers to insurers to pharmaceutical companies - can take to find these savings and drive them to the bottom line. The major recommendations are:
  • Standardize processes: Consistent processes reduce risk, improve efficiency and productivity.
  • Adopt new technologies: Process efficiency through automation can provide greater visibility into spend and supplier performance.
  • Leverage external expertise and services: If the company lacks in-house expertise, supplier relationships or process efficiency, seek outside help.
The savings are out there. So whether they are passed on to patients, share holders or R&D, they are certainly worth pursuing.

Another cost cutting articles of interest:

No comments:

Post a Comment