December 4, 2013
New Study Examines Methods To Reduce Acute Care Costs Without Sacrificing Quality
The acute care system, which includes urgent care and retail clinics, emergency departments, hospitals, and doctors' offices, reflects the best and worst in American medicine. While acting as a safety net for the under- and uninsured, the system is also fragmented, disconnected, and costly.
In a study published today in the December issue of Health Affairs, Jesse Pines, M.D., director of the Office of Clinical Practice Innovation at the George Washington University (GW), and co-authors describe strategies to contain acute care costs without sacrificing quality.
The authors suggest that providers and organizations can reduce demands for acute care through public health measures and educational initiatives. However, it will also be necessary to change providers' behavior, through the development of care pathways, providing feedback, and other tactics. The authors maintain that fee-for-service payment with new incentives based on resource and quality measures that are yet to be developed is the only feasible approach to paying for acute care.
On the Net: