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How One Point-of-Care Strategy Cuts Readmissions

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, September 12, 2012

It is widely accepted that a well run hospital discharge program can reduce hospital readmissions and save money. Health insurers are usually more than happy to tout how their programs trim hospital readmissions. But when it comes to the nitty gritty of actual cost savings, they tend to be a bit vague.

That is why I found a study from New York-based EmblemHealth so intriguing. The insurer lays out the results of a pilot program not only in terms of reduced readmissions, but also in terms of dollars and cents. The study is published in the American Journal of Managed Care.

With human and capital resources often stretched to their limit in busy physician offices, EmblemHealth looked at how a redeployment of its resources could affect patient care and produce a measurable savings in healthcare expenses, William Gillespie, MD, EmblemHealth’s chief medical officer, told me.

Although there is peer review evidence that care coordination and accountable care can make a difference not only in the quality of care, but also in the downstream costs, those systems are often based on predictive modeling that can be impacted by a claims lag.

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