In terms of benefit cost saving ideas --
- Fierce Healthcare discusses a survey on hospital readmissions which finds that the strongest predictors of readmissions is previous emergency department visits. "The odds ratio for patients with at least four ED visits in the past six months was 4.65, according to the study." Other factors with high odds for readmission are patients with cardiovascular or pulmonary disease, patients discharged after a long stay, and patients discharged on a Friday. The article suggests that the hospital pay attention to patients in these risk categories.
- Fierce Healthpayer considers what health care providers and payers can do collaboratively to increase the use of bundled payments.
- Life Health Pro reviews state laws that restrict balance billing patients. About a quarter of the states have these laws. Provider charges in excess of these limits may fall under the standard FEHB exclusion of charges for which the member has no obligation to pay.
- The FEHBlog's youngest kid (entering his junior year in college soon) is attending a three week course in basic emergency medical technician skills. The Wall Street Journal reports on a new use of paramedics, who are at the top of the EMT heap, "An initiative, called community paramedicine, is training the fast responders in chronic disease management, medication compliance and home safety. Paramedics are then sent on scheduled house calls to frail and elderly patients or those who have trouble managing chronic conditions like heart failure and diabetes." Expanding allied health professional resources can only be helpful.