As others see it: Health care innovation pushes onAmidst the trepidation taxpayers seem to have with regard to health care reform at the state and federal level, there’s a quietly developing movement to make health care more efficient and effective.
By: The Free Press of Mankato, Worthington Daily Globe
Amidst the trepidation taxpayers seem to have with regard to health care reform at the state and federal level, there’s a quietly developing movement to make health care more efficient and effective.
Fortunately, much of it is taking place in Minnesota. Later this year, the first Minnesota health care home will be established. That’s a coordinated system of taking care of people with chronic illness. It involves coordination of care among doctors, nurses and other health care professionals that has been proven to create more efficient and higher quality outcomes for patients.
Such health care “homes” would be developed to focus care on the individual without a lot of hospitalization and institutionalization of sickness that creates extremely high costs. It also involves more intense and frequent communication with a patient. They can talk to their health care home “liaison” and solve some worries over the phone, instead of not reaching their doctor and being told to go to the emergency room.
These homes were established as part of a health care reform measure passed in Minnesota a couple of years ago. There were several pilot projects established, including one at the Mankato Clinic.
Now we also see an innovative idea emerging to help care for low income and indigent Minnesotans on General Assistance Medical Care. The idea of accountable care organizations, or ACOs, has been discussed as a way for teams of health professionals to efficiently manage a population on government supported health care pro-grams.
They would include hospitals, clinics and specialists who could work together, communicate on patient care and be accountable for the spending and the care of the population. The group would receives bonuses or penalties depending on the care provided and outcomes achieved.
Minnesota legislators have proposed using those kind of coordinated car models to more efficiently deliver health care to the 30,000 or so Minnesotans on GAMC.
So there is progress being made, however slow. The key for legislators and the taxpayers will be to create some momentum to get more of these coordinated care programs up and running. Health care costs are escalating too quickly for us to delay.
The Free Press of Mankato