New study examines methods to reduce acute care costs without sacrificing quality

December 03, 2013

WASHINGTON (Dec. 3, 2013) - 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.

"We are in a time of revolutionary change in medicine in this country with great focus on how the healthcare system can deliver greater value, by reducing costs and enhancing quality," said Pines, who is also a professor of emergency medicine at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences and a professor of health policy at the GW School of Public Health and Health Services. "In acute care, there are many ways that we can safely reduce costs, but we have to be very careful that new policies don't hurt patients or undermine what makes acute care medicine so accessible and life-saving - specifically, care delivered in emergency departments."

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.
-end-
The study, titled "Strategies for Integrating Cost-consciousness Into Acute Care Should Focus on Rewarding High-value Care," is published as part of December's thematic Health Affairs issue, "Mission Versus Reality in Emergency Care."

Pines will present his paper at a Health Affairs forum on Dec. 4 at the National Press Club. Visit https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?llr=tcmi8ydab&oeidk=a07e8kdzj0c5805bb82&oseq=a023xugd0dlat5 to register for the event.

For a fully copy of the paper or to schedule an interview with Dr. Pines about his research, please contact Lisa Anderson at lisama2@gwu.edu or 202-994-3121.

About the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences:

Founded in 1825, the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) was the first medical school in the nation's capital and is the 11th oldest in the country. Working together in our nation's capital, with integrity and resolve, the GW SMHS is committed to improving the health and well-being of our local, national and global communities. smhs.gwu.edu

George Washington University

Related Public Health Articles from Brightsurf:

COVID-19 and the decolonization of Indigenous public health
Indigenous self-determination, leadership and knowledge have helped protect Indigenous communities in Canada during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and these principles should be incorporated into public health in future, argue the authors of a commentary in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) http://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.200852.

Public health consequences of policing homelessness
In a new study examining homelessness, researchers find that policy such a lifestyle has massive public health implications, making sleeping on the street even MORE unhealthy.

Electronic health information exchange improves public health disease reporting
Disease tracking is an important area of focus for health departments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pandemic likely to cause long-term health problems, Yale School of Public Health finds
The coronavirus pandemic's life-altering effects are likely to result in lasting physical and mental health consequences for many people--particularly those from vulnerable populations--a new study led by the Yale School of Public Health finds.

The Lancet Public Health: US modelling study estimates impact of school closures for COVID-19 on US health-care workforce and associated mortality
US policymakers considering physical distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 face a difficult trade-off between closing schools to reduce transmission and new cases, and potential health-care worker absenteeism due to additional childcare needs that could ultimately increase mortality from COVID-19, according to new modelling research published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

The Lancet Public Health: Access to identification documents reflecting gender identity may improve trans mental health
Results from a survey of over 20,000 American trans adults suggest that having access to identification documents which reflect their identified gender helps to improve their mental health and may reduce suicidal thoughts, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

The Lancet Public Health: Study estimates mental health impact of welfare reform, Universal Credit, in Great Britain
The 2013 Universal Credit welfare reform appears to have led to an increase in the prevalence of psychological distress among unemployed recipients, according to a nationally representative study following more than 52,000 working-age individuals from England, Wales, and Scotland over nine years between 2009-2018, published as part of an issue of The Lancet Public Health journal on income and health.

BU researchers: Pornography is not a 'public health crisis'
Researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) have written an editorial in the American Journal of Public Health special February issue arguing against the claim that pornography is a public health crisis, and explaining why such a claim actually endangers the health of the public.

The Lancet Public Health: Ageism linked to poorer health in older people in England
Ageism may be linked with poorer health in older people in England, according to an observational study of over 7,500 people aged over 50 published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

Study: Public transportation use linked to better public health
Promoting robust public transportation systems may come with a bonus for public health -- lower obesity rates.

Read More: Public Health News and Public Health Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.