The Triple Aim: Improving the Patience Experience & Reducing Cost of Care

Triple AimThe Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) launched the Triple Aim initiative over 10 years ago, back in 2007. It was created for healthcare organizations to enhance a patients’ experience (i.e. quality, access, and reliability) while reducing the per capita cost of care.

Following these three Triple Aim objectives enables healthcare organizations to recognize and solve problems such as poor coordination of care and excessive use of medical services. It also encourages organizations to focus attention on and redirect resources to action that produce the most considerable impact on health.

  1. Improving the patient experience of care
  2. Improving the health of populations
  3. Reducing the per capita cost of health care

Why the Triple Aim?

 The United States healthcare system is the most costly in the world, accounting for 17% of the gross domestic product with estimates that percentage will grow to 19.9% of GDP by 2022.

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2018 Business Savings: Calculating Section 179 Tax Deductions

10_23_18_532377729_itb_560x2921As discussed in our Auxo Medical blog earlier this month, the Section 179 Tax Deduction is intended to motivate businesses to stay competitive by purchasing needed equipment, and writing off the full amount on their taxes for the existing year. It’s an incentive created by the U.S. government to encourage businesses to buy equipment and invest in themselves.

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Section 179 Tax Codes Debunked: How to Save Money on Medical Equipment

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It is a safe assumption to make that medical equipment buyers want to save money. In 2018, now more than ever, hospitals, ASCs, and other healthcare institutions are under tremendous pressure to cut costs. But, many buyers do not necessarily think about Section 179 when shopping for equipment.

The Section 179 deduction is actually not a complicated tax code and is surprisingly a lot simpler than most realize. The IRS tax code, Section 179, permits businesses to subtract the full purchase price of qualifying equipment purchased or financed during the tax year. In other words, if you buy a piece of qualifying equipment, you can deduct the full purchase price from your gross income. It’s an incentive created by the U.S. government to encourage businesses to buy equipment and reinvest in growing their business.

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Patients Seek Pricing Transparency in Their Healthcare Costs

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Earlier this month, we looked into the topic of healthcare pricing transparency, and discussed why its relevant.

Today we dive into how pricing transparency affects our healthcare decisions and costs.

The average consumer, consciously or subconsciously, price shops on a daily basis — checking out which gas station has the cheapest price per gallon, which grocery store has the most affordable produce, and which Amazon wholesaler has the cheapest gadget.

But when it comes to our healthcare, that’s an entirely different ballgame.

The unfortunate truth is that consumers in the United States do not necessarily know the cost that they pay for healthcare because those financial implications by insurers and providers have historically been kept under wraps.

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Transparency in Healthcare: A Growing Concern for Consumers & Employers

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Price transparency is the ability for consumers to access provider-specific information on the price of healthcare services – including out-of-pocket costs − regardless of the setting in which they are delivered.

But healthcare does not operate like other industries – consumers do not necessarily have access to the price of services.

Costs for the same exact medical service can vary significantly from provider to provider; it is challenging for consumers to ascertain information in order to compare providers based on two important factors: price and quality.

Making insights on healthcare prices and quality obtainable will help consumers compare costs, choose physicians who truly have high value, as well as plan for the financial implications. This will also support policymakers to hold healthcare providers accountable for creating appropriate prices.

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IoMT’s Impact on the Future of Healthcare

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Even though the healthcare industry has been slower to embrace Internet of Things than other industries, the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is positioned to reshape how we keep people safe and healthy, particularly as solutions to lower healthcare costs is on the rise.

Allied Market Research predicts that the IoT healthcare market will reach $136.8 billion worldwide by 2021. There are over 3 million medical devices in circulation that are connected to and monitor patients to influence healthcare decisions.

Wearable devices and the decreasing cost to produce sensor technology are largely responsible for this impressive growth. Also, chronic diseases are on the rise, so advanced treatment options and reducing healthcare expenditures makes it even more alluring to utilize newer innovations.

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Internet of Medical Things (IoT): The Vast Impact Inside & Outside of Hospital Walls

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A patient’s heart monitor sends an alert to a physician that her arrhythmia is back.

A senior forgets to take their prescribed medication on time, and a devices helps remind them to take it and also documents what time they took it.

 A man’s implanted device monitors blood glucose symptoms and delivers a corrective insulin stimulus, alerting the physician simultaneously.

All of these examples are the epitome of the “Internet of Medical Things” (IoMT). The Internet of Medical Things refers to an ecosystem of medical devices and applications that collect data that is then provided to healthcare IT systems through online computer networks. Wi-Fi enabled devices are a catalyst for machines to communicate and link to cloud platforms for data storage. The “Internet of Things” (IoT) has influenced several industries, and the healthcare field is no exception. The medical industry across the board has gradually started to enter the integrated world of IoT.

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Preventing & Reducing Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs)

HAIsHealthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are infections that patients acquire while receiving treatment for medical or surgical conditions. Earlier this month in our blog, we took a look at HAIs and how they are transmitted. In this post, we will cover insights on how to best prevent and reduce HAIs.

Precautionary Measures

Immune systems are oftentimes weakened upon being admitted to the hospital due to the illness patients are facing. Patients are in a compromising position to battle additional challenges, due to infections generated within the healthcare facility walls. In 2014, an estimated 17.8 million visits to physician offices were due to infectious and parasitic diseases.

Programs that have been successful in reducing HAIs generally focus on improving multiple interventions, such as hand hygiene, use of contact and other precautions, active screening, and vigorous decontamination rather than relying on a single approach.

Examples of best practices by a healthcare provider include careful insertion, maintenance, and prompt removal of catheters, as well as the careful use of antibiotics.

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A Look Inside the Expanding Landscape of HAIs

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Health care-associated infections (HAIs) are infections that patients acquire while receiving treatment for medical or surgical conditions, and many HAIs are preventable. HAIs can occur in a number of health care facilities, such as acute care hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, outpatient care e.g. physicians’ offices and clinics, dialysis treatment facilities, and long-term care facilities e.g. rehabilitation centers and nursing homes. HAIs can be caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses, or other pathogens.

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How to Integrate Value-Based Care into Your Practice

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Transitioning from the traditional volume-based to value-based payment and care delivery models in health care has been one of the most significant industry-wide efforts during recent years. However, the speed of adapting this new model has been slow. For instance, in a 2016 survey of executives at provider organizations, 94 percent indicated that they are on the path to value-based care, but only 27 percent have finished pilots or are in the process of implementation.

Physicians play a substantial role in delivering value-based care so it is certainly worth investing time and energy to understand how they can help move the organization in the right direction.

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